Abused lion can’t see after being held captive by breeders. Then rescuers restore his eyesight

The people at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida have a noble goal: they take care of lions, tigers and other big cats that have been traumatized, abused or are otherwise unable to return to the wildlife.

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Joseph is a 17-year old lion and has been a resident at Big Cat Rescue for a number of years. He was saved by the organization from a breeder who bred multiple lions and tigers and held them captive purely for commercial purposes. Joseph was being used to take pictures with people that were willing to pay for them and wasn’t loved or cared for.


Source: Barcroft TV

17 years can be considered ‘senior status’ in lion terms, and Joseph was starting to show signs of old age. One of his lenses is his eye was severely luxated and was gravely irritating the big cat. He couldn’t see anymore, was in almost constant pain and the people at Big Cat Rescue feared for his health.

Luckily, a team of veterinarians decided they would do everything in their power to help Joseph out. While surgery isn’t overly complicated, Joseph’s age does make it a riskier procedure.


Source: Barcroft TV

Dr. Miller, Dr. Wynn and Dr. Boorstein from BCR wanted to perform surgery on Joseph in Windsong Memorial Hospital, hoping that the eye could still be saved.

The team had to sedate the big cat first with a dart gun and put Joseph in a crate afterward. Six people were needed to transport the big and peaceful animal to the operating room.


Source: Barcroft TV

Luckily, the surgery went fine and didn’t have any complications. Joseph eyesight has been restored and he is no longer in any pain.

After the surgery, Joseph was greeted by one of the staff members who bought him his favorite treat – it turns out even lions adore ice cream.

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