News

Starving lions found in abandoned Ukrainian zoo rescued by heroic Brits in daring mission – World News

blank

Nine starving lions have been rescued from a Ukrainian zoo by a team of daring British Army veterans as the war rages on.

The group, which included members from the US and Canada, rescued the beasts from the biopark in Odessa, where supplies are dangerously low and Russian bombs continue to fall.

Animal rescue groups Breaking the Chains and Warriors of Wildlife traveled to the war-torn Black Sea port on Monday.

The mission was planned by South African animal rights activist Lionel de Lange, founder of Warriors of Wildlife, who joined forces with Brit Gemma Campling, director of Worldwide Vets, and Tom, founder of Breaking the Chains.







A large team was assembled, including army veterans and veterinarians
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)







The lions had to be lifted onto waiting trucks with stretchers
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

Tom, a British Army veteran whose last name is not used for security reasons, led the team.

Over 72 hours, the crack group traveled thousands of kilometers across three borders to carry out the big cat extraction.

There were fears that Russian missiles raining down on the city may have damaged animal enclosures and put civilians in serious danger from roaming, starving lions.

The team went in and rescued all nine lions, consisting of two adult males, five females, and one male and one female cub. They were safely taken to their new temporary home in Targu Mures, Romania on Wednesday.







British Army Veterinarians (front left to right) Steve and Tom with one of the nine lions prior to transport from Biopark Zoo
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)







The lions responded early in the rescue operation
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

The ultimate goal is to fly all the lions to a new life, possibly in South Africa in the Simbonga Game Reserve or in a wildlife sanctuary in the US.

The cost of the operation was raised from supporters to cover fuel, veterinary and security costs.

Breaking the Chains founder Tom, 34, from Yorkshire, served 18 years in the British Army and his team included other veterans such as former comrade Gaz and veterans Steve and TJ.

Tom himself was medically discharged with PTSD and credits his recovery to his dog Gypsie, a former military search dog who he says saved him.







There were fears that Russian bombs could damage the enclosures, releasing the carnivorous beasts onto the local public
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

He said: “It was an animal that saved my life. I understand the true beauty and value of animals and wanted to make sure I could save their lives, which is why we are in Ukraine.

“My ground team are all veterans, so these are the people who go to active conflict areas, and when I say active areas, these are places under Russian offensive with troops on the ground. These are the conflict areas in which we operate.

“We also have volunteers who came here to look out for the animals.

“We had two volunteers on this mission, but the ground team is mostly veterans.”

Tom said that as soon as Lionel informed him of the plight of the lions in Odessa, he knew his unit could help him.







The team gathered
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

He said: “It required a lot of equipment and a lot of manpower, so as soon as I got the call I said, ‘Sure, no drama, just tell me when.’

“Odessa is an active war zone, they receive missile attacks and ships can bombard from the sea, so they are under constant threat.

“We go to the conflict zones and on several occasions we have been between 600 and 800 meters from the Russian front.

“We’ve had bombs fall at our feet many times during animal extraction in Ukraine, so we knew we could help with this mission.”

Tom said working with Gemma and Lionel was a great experience and his team used their own expertise to ensure all the lions were transported safely.







One of the lions being moved while draped in a Ukrainian flag
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

The convoy included a huge military truck driven over from the UK by Tom’s team and 4X4 support vehicles. Additionally, extra-strong cages, makeshift stretchers, and climbing gear were needed to secure their precious cargo.

Each lion required expert veterinary care from the moment it was sedated through monitoring throughout the hundreds of miles journey. dr Gemma Campling, who studied at Nottingham University Veterinary School, founded Worldwide Vets to help with the care and conservation of animals around the world.

She said: “This is the first time I’ve extracted carnivores from an active war zone.

“It’s quite unusual to move a whole pack and stun and shoot them all in a short space of time and move safely.







A convoy of heavily armored vehicles was used to transport the lions to a temporary home in Romania
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

“I’ve been in Ukraine for a few weeks looking for better ways to support the horse and small animal work and this came at fairly short notice but I have a lot of wildlife experience and was drafted.

“Dealing with wildlife in a war zone is a lot more complicated than dealing with dogs and cats because obviously you can’t deal with a lion.

“With anesthesia or immobilization you have to be very precise, you have to be that precise and as the veterinarian in charge of the procedure it becomes my job to keep everyone and the animals safe.

“Given the possible shelling all around us, we had to be on our toes at all times.







Lionel de Lange, founder of Warriors of Wildlife, who came up with the idea to save the nine lions
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

“The vehicle we loaded the lions onto was an incredibly tall truck so it took us six to eight guys with a homemade stretcher because in a war zone we don’t have a wildlife stretcher to lift each animal above shoulder height, which took a lot of time of teamwork.

“The biggest male, I would say, weighed over 250 kg.

“Then I had to check that each lion was securely positioned in its enclosure, make sure its airway was clear and monitor anesthesia upon awakening.

“I sat in the back of the truck for hours while the lions watched them and watched them sleep and did checks every few hours when we stopped.







Vets were on hand to ensure the lions stayed healthy throughout the trip
(

Picture:

Nathan Laine/Magnus News)

“I’ve tried to do my best to manage their stress to make sure they are as happy as possible.

“Even the lions had to dig deep and endure the journey, but they have a secure life ahead of them now.”

Gemma continued: “The morning we loaded the lions the zookeeper was really really upset because you could see he loved these animals and he was upset when they left.

“Everyone’s life is falling apart because of the war and we take care of the animals, many people in Ukraine will not leave their animals.

“When the war started in Ukraine we wanted to help because there is a shortage of veterinarians locally because many of them were male and were drafted into combat.”

With the lions rescued, Tom has already returned to Ukraine with his team and both Lionel and Gemma have vowed to return to continue helping the animal victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Continue reading

Continue reading

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/starving-lions-found-abandoned-ukrainian-27080741 Starving lions found in abandoned Ukrainian zoo rescued by heroic Brits in daring mission - World News

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button