France has provided refuge to three Ukrainian lions from Donetsk: photo

By TravelWiseFeb 4, 2024 21:05 PMNews
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France has sheltered three Ukrainian lions
France has sheltered three Ukrainian lions. Source: Natalia Popova / Wild Animal Rescue / Parc de l'Auxois

The Auxois Animal Park in the municipality of Arne-sous-Vitaux (Burgundy, France) responded to an international appeal and welcomed three predators rescued from the war in Ukraine.

"Atlas the lion comes from the outskirts of Kyiv; he was taken from a woman who had kept him since birth but then decided that he had become too aggressive, possibly due to the bombing," explained Charlotte von Kreu, responsible for emergency assistance at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), as reported by France 3.

"In a private house, he was running in circles with another lioness; his cage was only 12 m². He was overweight and had several wounds," the park stated.

Atlas is two and a half years old, while the two lionesses, Lulaji and Queen, are about two years old.

France has provided refuge to three Ukrainian lions from Donetsk: photo
France has provided refuge to three Ukrainian lions from Donetsk: photo. Source: Natalia Popova / Wild Animal Rescue / Parc de l'Auxois

The females were rescued in Donetsk Oblast. Initially, all three animals were kept at the Wildlife Rescue shelter near Kyiv.

A large-scale evacuation operation was organized in early 2024 with the participation of the Oxua Park, the Ukrainian Wildlife Rescue Fund, and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare).

The animals were transported to Burgundy via Poland. The trip lasted about eighty-eight hours.

The Auxois Wildlife Park states that it "would like to pay tribute to the extraordinary courage of the Ukrainian workers who continued to care for the animals every day, risking their own lives, until their departure."

In Burgundy, Atlas, Queen, and Lulaji will start a new life. After a period of adaptation, they will join 10-year-old lion Mikrula in a 5,000 m² enclosure.

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