A Lioness & Her Three Cubs Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine Find Their Forever Home In The UK

Photos by: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

A lioness and her three cubs have arrived safely at their forever home at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in the United Kingdom after being rescued from war-torn Ukraine.

According to IFAW, since June 2023, the big cats have been cared for at Poznań Zoo in Poland while permanent homes were secured. The organization was involved in the evacuation of the lioness and her cubs from Ukraine.

The mother lion named Aysa, who is three years old, was rescued while heavily pregnant from a private breeder in the eastern front and gave birth to three lion cubs in October 2022. The cubs, named Teddi, Emi, and Santa have had a traumatic start to life, but have been fortunate to remain with their mother throughout their ordeal.

The lioness was surrendered to Wild Animal Rescue near Kyiv after the owners fled the war. IFAW then worked with the center to organize the rescue and transportation to Poznań Zoo where they remained during health checks and onward arrangements could be made. The big cats have now been moved to their permanent home at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster in the UK.

“At long last – this family of lions who have been the unlikely victims of this invasion, are safe and sound. Yorkshire Wildlife Park is well placed to offer these big cats a good life in the park’s Lion Country area, where they have housed numerous lions, often rescued from traumatic situations,” said Natalia Gozak, Wildlife Rescue Field Officer (Ukraine) at IFAW. “They will be safe, secure, and most importantly – out of the warzone.”

As the majority of big cats bred in captivity have limited care options and cannot be released back into the wild, IFAW, animal welfare groups, and partners work to identify suitable homes where they will receive lifelong care.

“Wild animals born in captivity and rescued from these situations cannot return to the wild so providing quality lifelong care is the priority. Housing options can be scarce, and the ongoing war has caused a marked influx of animals needing homes, straining the already limited number of suitable venues with capacity,” added Gozak. “Lions do not make suitable pets – they are wild animals that require expert specialist care to best meet their physical and psychological needs.”

“It’s a scary time for everyone here in Ukraine. But for these big cats that were in the conflict zone—they must have been so frightened and confused. Although there are many more animals that need rescuing—I am relieved these lions now have a better life ahead,” said Natalia Popova of Wild Animal Rescue.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

More on this topic

Popular stories

World’s Loneliest Lion Named Ruben, Who Was Abandoned At An Armenian Zoo, Arrives At His New Home In South Africa

Thanks to an epic journey across the world organized by Animal Defenders International (ADI) and Qatar Airways Cargo, Ruben, the world’s loneliest lion, has...

Breaking! Qatar Airways Cargo Saves Wildlife With ‘WeQare’ Initiative By Flying Endangered Species Back To Their Natural Habitat

Qatar Airways Cargo announced today that it is launching Chapter 2 of ‘WeQare: Rewild the Planet.’ The cargo carrier is committed to preserving wildlife and...

Peace 4 Animals’ & WAN’s New Billboard Campaign Urges People To Save Millions Of Lives This Holiday By Choosing Health & Compassion On Their...

This holiday season it is more important than ever to make healthy choices that save the lives of millions of innocent animals by simply...