Remember earlier this year when we took in four lions and an African wild dog at our Spanish rescue centre? Those animals came from an animal shelter near Ukraine’s capital Kiev. They had been taken in there after animal activists rescued them from living rooms, a shopping centre and a nightclub.
These lions, Nila, Kiara, Gyz and Flori, are doing much better now, but they weren’t the only ones in need of a safe place at the Ukrainian shelter. Last summer, the same shelter was still looking after 13 lions, a leopard, a tiger and lots of native wild animals. These animals were either not strong enough to travel or no suitable place had been found for them yet. With new airstrikes very close to the shelter, it was time to get all the animals to safety right away. Network organisation EARS, to which AAP and many other European animal centres are affiliated, pulled out all the stops to organise a safe haven for all the animals. Their efforts, supported by international partners seem to be successful. Today we received four more lions at AAP in Spain after a very long journey. A number of other lions will go to a decent rescue centre in the United States.
We know very little about the animals that just arrived. One of them is Pretzel. According to initial reports, he is extremely traumatised by the recent drone attacks very close to his enclosure. He has injured himself severely by throwing himself into the bars of his enclosure. During a stopover in Poland, we were informed that he will need immediate care upon arrival. This rescue operation demands the utmost of our capacity, but we won’t let these animals down.
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