Tiger cubs rescued from war-torn Ukraine have made it to Poland and are safe, new footage shows.
The cubs, along with six lions, two caracals, and an African wild dog, were evacuated around a week earlier from the Save Wild Animal Sanctuary near Kyiv and were relocated to Zoo Poznań in western Poland as Russian forces closed in on the Ukrainian capital.
The journey, however, was far from a straightforward one. According to Newsweek, Zoo Poznań had lost all hope of evacuating the animals from Kyiv after the truck being used for transportation got surrounded by Russia tanks.
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However, the truck eventually managed to make it past the checkpoint, and after a grueling two-day journey through a war-torn landscape, the rescued tigers safely arrived at Zoo Poznań on March 3, and were provided with enclosures for temporary safekeeping.
Subsequently on March 10, the zoo uploaded a video of the tigers exploring their new enclosures.
The tigers have also undergone veterinary tests and are fine, but will remain in isolation for a few days as they rest and recover from their grueling journey and get acquainted with their new surrounds.
Later, some of the tigers are likely to be headed to other animal sanctuaries in western Europe, while some of them will remain at Zoo Poznań.
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However, Zoo Poznań is not yet done with evacuating animals from Ukraine: a press spokesperson at the zoo, Małgorzata Chodyła, told Newsweek that the zoo was still working on receiving emergency shipments from Ukraine.
“We are trying to pick up another transport in the coming days,” Chodyła told the publication.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, several animal welfare organisations have taken steps to evacuate animals endangered by the fighting or provide urgent supplies to animals in need in Ukraine.