Animals are too often the subject of human cruelty, and there seems to be no end to what we as a species put these pure, innocent creatures through.
Animals are so beautiful, infinitely fascinating, and absolutely lovable, and most of us feel sick at the thought of them being harmed.
But sometimes, our own fascination and adoration of animals contribute toward the suffering of the very animals we feel such affection for.
For example, tourism has unfortunately generated a significant amount of animal suffering, as some tourists are eager to get up-close with wild animals, which leads to unscrupulous people using and abusing wild animals for profit.
One of those poor animals is this little lion cub named Simba, whose tragic story has sparked outrage online.
The lion cub was snatched from his mother just a few months after birth and was then promptly put to work as a tourist attraction.
Tourists would pay to have their photos taken with the cub, and in order to keep Simba compliant, his captors abused him terribly.
The people in charge of Simba broke his legs and injured his spine so that the little cub would not be able to run away or avoid interacting with the tourists.
It’s also believed that he was beaten and tortured by his abusers.
Simba was kept tied up in a barn in Russia, where tourists were allowed to pose and take pictures with the suffering cub.
When rescuers finally got word of him, poor Simba was within an inch of his life.
But thankfully, Simba’s life didn’t end in that hellish barn.
Rescuers saved Simba from the barn and transported him to specialist vet Karen Dallakya who worked tirelessly to help the little lion.
Thanks to a lot of hard work, Simba survived and was given a new shot at life.
Apart from his broken leg, Simba also suffered from pressure sores, muscular atrophy and intestinal issues.
Simba has unfortunately been left permanently deformed by his abuse, but his recovery has still been going quite well; he’s noticeably happier and healthier, and he has re-learned how to walk.
And even though he may limp a little bit, he seems to be getting faster and stronger.
The abuse Simba has had to suffer through is nearly incomprehensible, and all over the world, people are voicing their disgust.
President Vladimir Putin has allegedly also been horrified by the story and has indicated that a criminal investigation will be carried out.
A year has passed since Simba’s rescue, and he’s nearly unrecognizable.
The beautiful little lion is growing steadily and has turned into a happy and healthy-looking little guy.
He no longer has to live in fear, and can instead enjoy living his new, safe and peaceful life.
Online, people have been sharing their feelings and sending their love to the little lion.