Thanks to a strong mobilization, 15 wild animals that have survived abuse have just left Ukraine to join Poland. A long, complex and risky journey to bring these refugees to safety.
It is a perilous but successful mission for this Ukrainian refuge, located near Kiev. To save 15 of these animals (out of 85 survivors) from the bombing, this animal protection organization deployed significant resources. The idea? They transported them by truck for almost 1,000 kilometers, thus defying the Russian troops.
On the night of March 1 to 2, 6 tigers, 6 lions, 2 caracals and 1 wild dog took to the road, heading to the zoo in Poznan, Poland. When bypassing Zhitomir, a Ukrainian region being bombed by Russian soldiers, the truck found itself facing the Kremlin’s tanks. In a panic, the driver fled under the vehicle, while Natalia Popova, owner of the Ukrainian refuge, joined the convoy to feed the big cats.
But more fear than harm for the driver who, after a restless night, finally arrived at the Polish border with the 15 wild animals on board. Upon their arrival, the tigers, lions, caracals and the wild dog were transferred to a Polish truck to reach their sanctuary.
The survivors are currently housed and cared for by the Poznan Zoo and may soon be able to join animal welfare organizations. The zoo has also launched a fundraiser to help these 15 refugees and all those who have not yet been evacuated.
Because if these wild animals are now out of danger, this is not the case for everyone. According to the 30 Million Friends Foundation, negotiations are underway with reserves in Western Europe to accommodate the animals left behind in Kiev.
Time is running out for these many animals in captivity.