Russian animal rights defenders hope to transfer little lion cub Simba (pictured) from Grozny (Chechnya) to Africa via one of the international wildlife charities. With open wounds, sick, exhausted and distraught the little patient was surrendered to one of Grozny veterinary clinics, where his owners explained that he could not bear life in cage and became self-destructive, causing himself multiple injuries. The vets of Aibolit Clinic were more than happy to take care of an a-typical patient for free, however they launched call for donations for medications. At present there is an ongoing campaign to collect funds for Simba, while he still receives treatment.
Russian the animal rights groups are looking for contacts with experts in wildlife to secure the best possible future for Simba, returning him to Africa, where he belongs. The biggest fear is his landing in one of Russian zoos or circuses, in a barbaric show, being trained to perform tricks by electroshock collar. The fears of activists are not exaggerated – there are no laws protecting animals against human cruelty in Russia, and numerous big cats are suffering in zoos, both private and public, and the circuses, often travelling locked for days in small cages.
Sometimes animal sufferings in circuses accumulate, and explode on public like in a recent case of a lioness attack in Krasnodar circus. Reportedly a four year old girl who was injured during the incident is still in an intensive care in coma. “When animal circus will be banned?” raise the rhetoric question internet users, commenting on the tragedy. “Disgrace having this kind of barbaric shows in 21 century!”, “Lynching of animals is not funny”, express many their indignation.
There is growing conviction among young generation of Russians that big cats belong to the wild, and it is cruel and degrading to deprive them of freedom and their natural habitat, exploiting in barbaric circus shows or keep them locked in cages in zoos prison. Unfortunately for the animals there are plenty of hunters among Russian lawmakers, who entertain themselves in killings, perceiving animals only as game. Apparently hunting lobby is blocking any progressive legislation concerning wildlife.
“It is not the first case of a tragedy in Russian circuses lately. In the draft law “On the responsible handling of animals”, a ban is imposed on mobile forms of circuses and licensing for stationary ones. If this law had passed last July, then Kransodar tragedy would not have happened. Therefore, I believe that the blame for the incident lies more with the ecology committee of the State Duma, which has already delayed the adoption of this important bill for the third session” said the chair of the Alliance for animals Yuri Koretsky to Europe Diplomatic.
With powerful hunting lobby he perspective of modern humane legislation for animals in Russia is blurred, in spite of all tragic incidents and public opinion against cruelty.
“The hunting business remains one of the most corrupt in Russia” – said managing director of ecological movement «Biom» Anna Kirilenko at Duma hearing on October 26 on ban оf hunting some rare spices.
Anna van Densky