After 5 years of treatment, injured lions in Istanbul ready for mating season

After 5 years of treatment, injured lions in Istanbul ready for mating season

Lions were injured as cubs and sent from Iran to Türkiye for treatment

By Fatih Ulas

ISTANBUL (AA) - Two lions, brought to Türkiye from Iran for medical treatment, have had their broken legs mended with plates, and are now gearing up for mating season.

In a facility in Istanbul, a female and a male lion with leg implants are being carefully cared for to ensure the continuation of their species.

The male lion has had metal plates installed on its hind legs, while the female has plates installed on all four legs.

The lions have difficulty walking due to severe leg injuries.

Burak Memisoglu, the head of the facility, said the lions were injured as cubs and sent from Iran to Türkiye for treatment.

They were later transferred to animal rehabilitation centers in Istanbul after receiving about four months of care at Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa Veterinary Faculty Animal Hospital.

"They arrived young at around 1 year old, unable to walk due to leg fractures. After referral, we applied platinum to their hind legs, reducing disability from 80% to under 20%. They can now walk, live here, and continue mating to sustain their generations,” he added.

He also said that the recovered lions have entered the breeding and mating cycle.


- 'They are currently in excellent condition'

A biologist who is responsible for animal care at the facility said that due to their injuries, the lions are provided a living space in the rehabilitation center.

After five years of treatment, Erdogan Sevinc said: "Our female lion walks with a slight limp, but both are now in very good condition."

He said lions have shorter lifespans in the wild. Males live 8-10 years, females 12-16, but in secure centers like this, they can live up to 25 years.

Stressing the need for care and rehab for wildlife, he added: "We offer them this opportunity as well.”

Aug. 10 is celebrated as World Lion Day to raise awareness about the decreasing lion population.


*Writing by Necva Tastan

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