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Brit Drives Lion And Wolf Out Of Ukraine In Minibus On 1,200 Mile Rescue Mission

Brit Drives Lion And Wolf Out Of Ukraine In Minibus On 1,200 Mile Rescue Mission

Simba the lion and Akela the wolf have been safely transported to a new zoo in Romania

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

A British man evacuated a lion and wolf from a Ukrainian zoo in the back of a minibus as a part of a rescue mission amid the ongoing war. Here's a clip of their journey:

Army veteran Tim Locks and two of his pals crowdfunded the rescue mission to evacuate the animals from their home, which was located just miles from the frontline.

The trio completed a 1,200-mile round trip from Lviv to Zaporizhzhia Oblast after hearing about the animals while he had been in Ukraine distributing essentials, such as baby food and nappies.

Locks, 45, kept up a running commentary of his - and the animals - whereabouts on Facebook.

Locks was told about the lion, named Simba, and Akela the wolf by a conservationist - and decided he wanted to help out.

Facebook/Tim Locks

A crane was used to safely remove the animals from their enclosures, before placing them in the back of a Ford Transit van in a three-hour long operation, Metro reports.

Once loaded up the van was given a police escort out of the city, making it safely out before curfew.

The men then took turns driving around the clock until they reached Romania.

As you can probably imagine, Locks and his unusual cargo attracted some attention when going through checkpoints.

Facebook/Tim Locks

Speaking to Metro, he said: "One guard told us there was a war on and it was no time to joke around.

"I took him to the side of the van, opened the door, and showed him this proper big lion, like Aslan out of Narnia.

"We kept reminding each other that we'd got a lion and a wolf in the back of the van as we were driving and looking back to see there they were, just over our shoulders."

They then drove around the clock until they safely got the animals to Romania and into their new home at a zoo in the north-eastern city of Radauti.

Facebook/Tim Locks

They then set off back to Ukraine, where they will carry on helping out distributing humanitarian aid to those who need it.

He added: "We are heading back to Ukraine but red tape is making it difficult to move animals and aid across the border.

"We are hoping they remember us at the border crossing where we entered the country, as we had a lion and wolf with us."

Locks has set up a crowdfunding page to try and raise some cash to gather supplies for their work - you can donate here.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Tim Locks

Topics: UK News, Ukraine, Animals