While Ukraine is still under attack by Russian forces, British army veterans have traveled to the war-torn country on a rescue mission.
The veterans traveled alongside animal welfare groups Breaking the Chains and Warriors of Wildlife, in order to rescue 9 lions that were on the brink of starvation.
This came as a result of food shortages at the Biopark in Odessa, where meat supplies have become difficult to come by because of the ongoing attack on Ukraine.
The move was also incredibly important for civilians in the area, as if their enclosure became damaged and the lions escaped, it would be devastating for all involved.
The rescuers traveled for seventy-two hours before they even got to the zoo, crossing 3 borders in the process while also trying to dodge Russian soldiers.
The 9 lions which consisted of 2 males, 5 females, and 2 young cubs, were all successfully moved to a temporary home in Romania on Wednesday.
The founder of Warriors of Wildlife told the Daily Mail: “It was an international operation, and it was great to work with other people who were keen on getting this amazing job done.”
He continued: “I hope we can go back in under the Russian noses again and rescue more animals together in the future.
“It’s great for me to get any animal out of a bad situation but I suppose for me as someone who has lived in Ukraine it was extra special.”
He went on to thank his co-rescuers Gemma Campling, the director of Worldwide Vets, and Army veteran Tom who is also the founder of Breaking the Chains.
“The lions’ future was super bleak staying in Odesa because the writing is on the wall and it looks like there’s not going to be an end to the war anytime soon.
“But while there’s people like me, Tom and Gemma, and the amazing people we work with and who supported us, none of these animals are going to be left behind.”
What incredible people!