The 13-year-old lion was not only a tourist favorite, but also, a research animal. The beloved lion was being studied by the Oxford University Conservation Unit.
The artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, 42-year-old Sergei Filin, may lose his eyesight, after a masked man threw acid in his face as he was leaving his apartment building in Moscow late Thursday.
Filin, a former Bolshoi star, became director of the famed Bolshoi Theater two years ago.
He immediately drew fire decisions he made, such as hiring American ballet star David Hallberg as a principal dancer, and giving Hallberg the starring role on the night the company’s theater re-opened after extensive renovations.
A Bolshoi spokesperson told Russian television, “We never imagined that a war for roles… could reach this level of crime.”