Big cats are, of course, much better off in the wild where they belong, but as we constantly see, there are those people who continue to capture them and put them on display. So-called ‘tiger sanctuaries’ in Asia are guilty culprits – sedating these deadly beasts in order for tourists to get selfies with a drugged-up animal. Shame on you! Just as culpable was the Siberian Tiger Foundation in Ohio, where rescuers were called in after reports of animal mistreatment and abuse.
The team at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida didn’t hesitate and went in to save two lions and four tigers that had been put on display in small cages in a backyard zoo. The conditions the animals were living in were shocking, and so too was their general state of health. None more so than Joseph, a 330 lb lion who was 9-years-old when rescued. Over time, his years of mistreatment and neglect had finally caught up with him – and his eyesight was failing. It was up to the specialists at Big Cat Rescue to step in and do something about it.
Performing eye surgery on the king of the jungle is not an easy task though, and you’ve got to hand it to the team of dedicated experts who work together to keep Joseph’s quality of life as high as possible. Now at 17, he’s entering his twilight years and he requires even more care and attention. The footage you’re about to watch is incredible – especially when they manage to humanly sedate the animal in order to carry out an eyesight-saving operation! Hands are shaking – even from the professionals!
With Joseph asleep in the operating theatre, vets get to work saving the animal’s eyesight – and it really is astounding how many people are involved – all committed to helping one lion. It’s these kinds of people we need more of in this world! Watching the operation is fascinating – and bear in mind it is a time lapse video, so this probably took a few hours! Saving a lion’s eyesight isn’t a quick-fix it seems!
You won’t be able to look away though as the team complete what they say is actually quite a simple procedure, but it certainly doesn’t look it! And you don’t want to be around if you upset Joseph – he’d have you for breakfast! As it turns out though, it seems he much prefers ice cream!
Watch the amazing video below to see how Joseph gets on under the amazing care of Big Cat Rescue.