The renting of big cats has become a status symbol for the Russian elite, with the going rate to hire them for parties about 10,000 RUB (£139) per hour. Spartak Moscow defender Dmitri Kombarov has shown he has a seat at the table of the elite by renting a lion for his five-year-old daughter who celebrated her birthday.
Kombarov said on Instagram: “My beloved daughter, today is your fifth anniversary. Your mother and I love you more than life.”
Kombarov’s gesture had since become a subject of criticism on social media with people suggesting that the baby lion (cub) looked like it had been drugged.