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Lion Cubs Rescued from War-stricken Ukraine Enjoy First Steps in the Snow



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Sandstone, MN – December 6, 2022 – Four young lion cubs, rescued from Ukraine, just experienced their first time in the snow at their forever home at The Wildcat Sanctuary.

The cubs – Taras (male, four months), Stefania (female, four months), Lesya (female, four months) and Prada (female, six months) arrived at the sanctuary last week via Poland. After a short time getting familiar with their heated indoor space, they got to experience snow for the very first time.

Founder Tammy Thies said, “The cubs have settled in very well.  They’re fearless and love to explore every inch of their outdoor habitat.

To get them comfortable with their new space, the cubs are chaperoned for outdoor recess to ensure they do well in the snow and in the colder temperatures. Dashing through the snow, they climbed their stone cave and even ventured over to say hello to rescued tigers across the way.”

Lions do very well acclimating to our winter temperatures and enjoy spending time outdoors. All the rescued residents have indoor heated rooms to escape the cold whenever they’d like, comfy straw in their outdoor dens and caves, and heated water bowls for drinking.

“It is so rewarding watching them play and chase each other after their arduous journey and surviving bombings and drone attacks in Ukraine.”

Now, these cubs get to live forever wild at heart, safe at sanctuary. But, in captivity and in the wild, big cats face new and increasing threats to their survival, including the exotic pet trade.

Sadly, these cubs were bred and destined for the pet trade before being surrendered to rescue groups in Ukraine. But thankfully, they’ve found their way to their forever home at The Wildcat Sanctuary.

About TWS (The Wildcat Sanctuary) – The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is the only accredited, non-profit sanctuary in the Midwest. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals. The Wildcat Sanctuary is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. More information can be found at




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