A starving lion cub left to die in a cage was found on Friday morning by the group Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) on waste ground in Beirut, after it received an anonymous call saying that it had been spotted in Karantina.
The animal "had not eaten in days and was in a very bad state," BETA vice president Elena Husseini told AFP.
"He was not moving. His abdomen seemed swollen; he was very weak and had high blood pressure."
The public prosecutor's office granted BETA custody of the cub after the organization filed a complaint saying he had been neglected.
"His life is in danger, and he cannot be more than two years old," said veterinary surgeon Mounir Abi Soueid, who is currently caring for the cub in Aley.
"He is a wild animal in a cage, imprisoned in harsh conditions, so we cannot predict what his reactions may be," Abi Soueid told AFP. "What is important now is that his health improves."
Abi Soueid added that the cub had weakened bones and paw problems after being left in a cage for so long.
He said the cub may be moved to another country when it is healthy enough. Trade in wild animals is illegal in Lebanon.