Spain gives refuge to the young lion who survived the bombings of the war in Ukraine

  • Ruru lived poorly in a stable on the outskirts of kyiv when the mortar fire surprised its owner, who did not hesitate to abandon the feline and other exotic species that he had in his possession.

  • This week’s #Cienciaalobestia recounts the efforts of Ukrainian and Spanish activists to help this animal leave the war behind and find a new home in Alicante.

The Alicante Foundation SPG Primadomus has rescued a three-year-old lion, Ruru, who lived in disastrous conditions on the outskirts of kyiv (Ukraine). When the area was bombed, his former owner fled, leaving the big cat at the mercy of the war. Although he managed to survive, his life was quite sad, according to his current caregivers.

Before being rescued, the animal was living in a deplorable stable on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital. Its owner had other exotic species in his private collection, such as turtles or peacocks, and had built a cage for the lion, who received no cleaning or care.

“Animals that come from a past in captivity in conditions like those of Ruru present multiple sequels, both physical and psychological. The absence of an adequate diet is a good example, since it severely affects the formation of both their skeleton and their muscles”, he tells SINC Pablo Delgadoresponsible for the Big Cats Area and Manager of AAP Primadomus.

“Small facilities, with little ventilation and light, imply few or no stimuli for them, which translates into problems of extreme weakness, balance, osteoarthritis, etc., which also affect their psychological well-being,” he adds.

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Animal rescues in the context of war

During the fighting in kyiv there was mortar fire in the area where the stable was located and all the animals that were in it were presumed dead. Staff at a nearby shelter discovered that they were still alive and managed to rescue most of them, except for Ruru, as the key to her enclosure was missing.

The young feline survived despite continuous shelling and the shelter’s owner, Asya Serpinska, and her granddaughter continued to feed it week after week. When the Russian troops entered the village they placed mines around the stable, but Asya managed to persuade one of the soldiers with cigarettes not to detonate the mine. Only when the Ukrainian troops recaptured the kyiv area was it possible to transfer the lion to Poland, from where it was processed. reception in Spain.

“The war has increased the demand for rescues that come to us from Ukraine, since the centers of the country have found many abandoned animals. And, faced with the impossibility of serving them adequately and the insecurity generated by the war, they have sought all possible help outside their borders,” he explains. Bertha Alzagabiologist and communicator at AAP.

A law to reverse this type of situation

“To this day, Ruru is still in the quarantine stage, a period with all kinds of veterinary check-ups to make sure he is in the best possible condition before starting rehabilitation. He arrived here quite shaken from all the stress of the war and his transfer. In addition, the fact that his former owner castrated him has prevented him from developing the characteristic mane of adult lions, “says Pablo Delgado.

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Both in Ukraine and in Spain, with the exception of four Autonomous Communities of our country, it is perfectly legal to have, trade and transport all kinds of wild fauna. That is why AAP is also fighting to implement a Positive Listing that clearly delimits and defines the species that can be traded and kept as pets, while all others are prohibited.

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“Right now there is a Draft National Animal Protection Law in our country that regulates the possession and trade of pets based precisely on Positive Lists. Once said Law is approved, a scientific committee will be responsible for preparing these lists”, he points out. Marta Merchanresponsible for the Public Policy Area of ​​AAP Primadomus.

In this way, the legislation would make it possible to put an end to unnecessary risks that the current situation implies for animals, people and the environment.

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