Ten lions belonging to Ukrainian animal-tamer Vladislav Goncharov could die from cold and hunger on the Russian-Latvian border, as their documents are not filled correctly and Russian officials do not want to let them through.
“The vans with lions arrived from Monte-Carlo, where they participated in a festival. Their documents are filled in line with EU standards…for that reason, officials do not wish to let them through,” said Maksim Nikulin, Director of the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
A performance involving Goncharov’s lions was scheduled in the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard on February 23.
The vans in which the animals are being transported are cold despite the fact that they are equipped with heating systems. The animals will soon run out of food, Nikulin continued. “There are rare white lions among Goncarov’s lions. No one will let them get back as they have crossed the border and the workers' visas have already expired,” he added.
Russia’s Deputy Agricultural Minister Yevgeny Nepoklonov who could settle the problem is currently on a business trip and will arrive on Friday.
“Only personal intervention can help now. They should understand that we will fill the documents correctly when we get entrance permission,” Nikulin added.
Vladislav Goncharov this year won the Silver Clown prize at the world’s most prestigious circus contest in Monte-Carlo.