British animal lover risked his own life to evacuate lion and wolf from Ukraine zoo

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A 1200 mile round trip in a minibus by animal lover, British veteran, Tim Locks and two of his friends evacuated a lion and a wolf from a Ukraine zoo safely. After raising the needed funds online, the four-day mission took the crew into southeast Ukraine where the animals were lifted out of their enclosures with cranes and carefully lowered into the minibus.

Locks, 45, had learned of the animals’ plight while he had been in Ukraine delivering essentials to the innocent victims of an unprovoked war.

From there, the team drove towards Romania; their precious cargo is now safe in a zoo in the northeastern city of Radauti. According to Metro, it took three hours to load the animals into the minibus, and when that was accomplished, they immediately left. At checkpoints, when declaring their cargo, some guards were rather skeptical of the lion and wolf being in the back of the vehicle, but when Locks opened the doors and the huge lion looked back at the guards, no more light conversation was needed.

I took him (guard) to the side of the van, opened the door and showed him this proper big lion, like Asian out of Narnia

Tom Locks

Once across the border to Romania, and the needed paperwork was filled out, they were escorted by Romanian officials until arriving at their destination. And then with the help of another crane and 20 strong men, the lion and the wolf were lifted out of the minibus.

No one thought we would pull it off. But we managed to get the lion in and he was happy. We carried the wolf out in one go and got the cage away and got the door shut and it was tea and biscuits all round, with everybody asking how we managed to do it. It was quite a nice little zoo with tigers and bears and we stayed for a couple of hours.

Tim Locks

On Tuesday evening, Tim updated the status of the lion and the wolf. Great work Tim. You guys rock!

Simba and Akela Update: We’ve just heard back from the zoo in Romania and it’s amazing to hear that both Simba and Akela are settling in well. Both are eating and drinking plenty and enjoying some « chill » time after the long journey. As for us, we’re well rested and spending the time reorganising vehicles and kit while we wait for the next task. Communication is still difficult here abs we’re trying to respond to requests of help from zoos and reserves but we can not always get through to the right people so if you hear from any organisation that need us abs have direct coms please let us know directly.

Facebook Tim Locks

Tom and his team are heading back to Ukraine to help distribute humanitarian aid to more people. Unfortunately, the red tape associated with moving animals out of the country has become a lot more complicated. Locks has set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds to gather supplies for their work – you can donate here.

Photos via Facebook Tim Locks

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook for the latest animal related news.

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