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Dutch foundation helps rescue lions and tigers from Ukraine

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The Netherlands’ Stichting Leeuw (Lion Foundation) has rescued four animals from the border of Poland and Ukraine: two male lions aged 3.5 and 1.5 years old, a male tiger who is 6 months old and a female tiger who is 5 years old. The animals have been taken to the foundation to recover.

The foundation is full at the moment, but the lions and tigers will be kept in the quarantine facility for the next month until several of the other lions can be sent to South Africa, said Robert Kruijff, director of the foundation. There, they will be able to roam large expanses of savannah.

The animals came in a van from Ukraine which was packed with dogs, cats, lions, tigers and foxes, Kruijff said. The Stichting Leeuw team then transferred the wild cats to their vehicle to be taken to the Netherlands.

The lions and tigers are in “terrible” condition, Kruijff said. They are underfed and look malnourished, and the female tiger is suffering from a deformity.

“We will do our best, and we will give them all the love and care, good food and medicine and our veterinarian will come and check them,” Kruijff said. “But they need a lot of time to recover.”

A few weeks ago, an Almere-based wildlife shelter for exotic mammals also took in several wild animals from Ukraine. Employees of the shelter risked their lives to save the animals, according to the foundation.

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