Nine lions were Rescued from Ukraine They arrived safely at their new home in Colorado.
The big cats were “urgently moved” from the Bio Park Zoo in Odessa, Ukraine, when the Russian invasion first began, According to a press release from The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
The caravan of lions moved from Odessa through Moldova to Romania. Their journey spanned more than 600 miles, says the refuge. They arrived at Targu Morris Zoo in the Romanian region of Transylvania on May 24.
Lions spent months at the zoo waiting for an emergency travel permit so they could board a rescue flight, according to the sanctuary. They finally reached their last homes on September 29.
Seven adult lions and two cubs of rescued pride are now being cared for by The Wild Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit organization based in Kinsburg, Colorado. The lions will live in an extension of a preserve called The Wild Animal Refuge, which consists of nearly 10,000 acres of land near Springfield, Colorado. The facility is not open to the public, According to the site of the campus.
Two more lions have been sent to Simbonga Game and Sanctuary in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, according to the statement. on Facebook, The South African reserve said it had received two lions, Mir and Simba, who were rescued from Ukraine and then stayed in Romania.
Pat Craig, CEO of The Wild Animal Sanctuary, highlighted the complexity of the task of rescuing cats.
“International rescue operations are often more complex in nature, but then you factor in a variety of foreign governments and timelines for allowing some of those governments into active war zones,” Craig said in the statement. “We are grateful that we were able to get all the lions out in time and save them. That is what is important. They will live the rest of their lives in great, pure natural habitats.”
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