Day: May 16, 2022

Ukraine: Team Making 12,000-Mile Trip To Save Nine Lions From Ukraine.

© Provided by Metro The pride of lions behind a cage at a zoo in Ukraine (Picture: Warriors of Wildlife/Daron Mann/YouTube/#behindenemylions)

An animal rescuer is due to travel from South Africa to Ukraine this week to rescue nine lions from a zoo in a city that is under attack.

Lionel De Lange is today preparing to travel to the war zone via Romania in a convoy of vehicles to save the pride from Russian fire as well as the possibility of starvation as funds for their upkeep run out.

They will be temporarily relocated to a municipal zoo in Romania awaiting paperwork for relocation to a ‘forever home’ abroad, which could mean being flown out to Mr De Lange’s reserve in South Africa.

The intention is to move the pride to the temporary holding facility over the border in Radauti, north-eastern Romania, where another two lions rescued since the outset of the Russian invasion are also awaiting relocation.

One of the creatures, Simba, was driven to safety from close to the frontline in eastern Ukraine by two British humanitarian volunteers after they loaded him into the back of a van.

Mr De Lange, who is due to fly to Romania tomorrow, is the founder and director of non-profit group Warriors of Wildlife (WoW) and runs the large, open-air sanctuary in the Eastern Cape. He has so far relocated 28 lions and a tiger from Ukraine in rescues carried out since 2019.

He told ‘We know that we are going into an area where there could be attacks at any time, but this is what I’m committed to do, we have to get these animals out.

‘Hopefully we’ll be able to go in and out without any issues. We will check the latest intelligence and speak to people on the ground and the safest time of the day to go, when there are no attacks.

‘Then our intention is to take them back over the border. It’s going to be a long, long journey.’

The mission involves first going to the zoo in Romania, where Mr De Lange will check if the crates are ready and get the vehicles together, before driving on into Ukraine.

He is being joined by videographer Daron Mann, who will be providing content and updates on his YouTube channel as they embark on a round trip which will involve more than 12,000 air and road miles.

The route involves a complex navigation of border posts and checkpoints, with the team travelling in around six to seven vehicles to and from the city, which Mr De Lange is not publicly naming for security reasons. The largest truck will handle about four crates each containing a lion.

As well as the mortal danger from Russian guns, which also creates stress and restricts the animals’ movement, the big cats face food shortages from the private zoo’s lack of funds. On average, an adult lion needs five kilograms of meat a day, roughly equivalent to a bag of potatoes.

© Provided by Metro Simba is due to be relocated from Romania to a haven in South Africa (Picture: Warriors of Wildlife/Facebook/@wowukr)

‘Everyone is worried about these lions while the place where they live is under attack,’ Mr De Lange said. ‘No one knows what will happen.

‘The other problem is these parks are no longer open to visitors, so they are not generating money to feed the animals.

‘So if they are not killed by the shelling they could very well die from starvation because there is no funds to provide food for them.’

The pride will remain at the zoo in Romania while Mr De Lange seeks new homes for the creatures in the US, Europe or South Africa.

The holding facility is already the temporary home for two lions that have already been rescued from Ukraine since the Russian invasion began 82 days ago. previously told how one of the pair, Simba, was saved after British volunteers Tim Locks and Jonathan Weaving drove the adult male over the border in the back of a van.

Racking up 2,600 road miles, they spent five days on the road, which involved using a crane to place the living cargo in the Ford Transit.

The big cats are set to be repatriated to Simbonga Game Reserve and Sanctuary, with Mr De Lange in the process of securing paperwork to give the pair a home at the 14,000 square metre haven.

The fate of zoo animals has been a side note to the unfolding horrors of the invasion, which has included a massive exodus of refugees and widespread evidence of war crimes by Russian troops.

However, Mr De Lange has said that, compared to humanitarian groups, there are few organisations dedicated to rescuing animals, and humans have a responsibility to animals in captivity that are in the line of fire.

He has told that he would ‘never, ever’ contemplate leaving the creatures in Romania, because there are no open-air havens in the country that could recreate their natural habitat.

In a Facebook update, WoW said: ‘The rescue is a go. We have our visas to enter Romania and then travel by road into Ukraine with a convoy of vehicles to evacuate 9 lions from a zoo in an area that is under attack.

‘We will then relocate the lions to a temporary holding facility in Romania while we wait on permits for them to travel to their forever home.

‘We will not divulge the zoo’s name or city in Ukraine for security reasons but will keep you informed of our progress all the way.

‘We have to complete the mission before the 30th May but hope to do so in the week before. It’s logistics and paperwork that we are now waiting on.’

*For more about Warriors of Wildlife and to donate click here

See all the pictures at:

Team making 12,000-mile trip to save nine lions from Ukraine (

Regards Mark

EU: Eurogroup for Animals calls the European Commission to stop the production, import and use of eCG in the EU.

Photo – Act for Equines.

16 May 2022


Equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), also called Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG), is a hormone extracted from the blood of pregnant mares. It is used in intensive agriculture to increase the reproductive performance of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, goats and cattle.

Repeated investigations by our member organisation Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) since 2015 have shown that the production of eCG entails serious welfare issues: up to a quarter of an animal’s blood is routinely extracted at one time, resulting in weakness and anaemia.

The blood is taken by force, which causes stress and fear. eCG used in the EU is mainly imported from Iceland, Uruguay and Argentina. In Iceland, semi-wild mares are repeatedly traumatised by violent handling and tight fixation in small boxes. In Uruguay and Argentina, mares are kept constantly pregnant and aborted to speed up the next pregnancy, as eCG is only produced in the early stages of gestation.

In Germany, where a Haflinger stud farm has been extracting blood from pregnant mares for 40 years, 16 litres of blood are extracted per week, which poses serious health risks to the mares.

The use of eCG on farm animals also raises a number of concerns. In Europe, eCG is mainly used in pigs, to increase fertility and to stimulate and synchronise oestrus. The sows have no time to recover in between pregnancies, which leads to early slaughter. In addition, the use of eCG leads to bigger litter sizes. If the sows have more piglets than teats, surplus piglets often starve or are killed.

In an Open Letter, Eurogroup for Animals, AWF, Welfarm, Green REV Institute, Dier&Recht, Deutscher Tierschutzbund, Animal Protection Denmark, DSPCA, along with 12 other animal welfare organisations call on the European Commission to:

Recognise and communicate that the production of eCG in the EU is in breach of EU legislation,

Build on future opportunities to ban the production, import and use of eCG.

Procedures such as blood collections are classified at European and international level as animal experiments. Several alternatives to eCG are available on the European market making this hormone dispensable and in breach of the Three Rs principle (3Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) as provided by Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes that applies in the EU and in the European Economic Area (EEA). Production of eCG in Germany and Iceland, both EEA countries, therefore violates EU law. 

In brief, eCG production and use is cruel and unnecessary! To put an end to this practice, the EU must include strong animal welfare standards for the production of veterinary medicines in the revised Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Such provisions will ensure that eCG exporters into the EU, and domestic producers, must comply with these minimum standards. The revised animal welfare legislation should also introduce a clear ban on the use, import and production of eCG.

Regards Mark

Associated WAV articles:

Iceland: Animal Welfare Violations On Blood Farms – 5 Litres Of Blood Taken Each Week From Pregnant Mares. – World Animals Voice

The blood business with the mares in Iceland – and Germany – World Animals Voice

PMU mares – dirty million dollar business – World Animals Voice

Blood farms in Iceland – official EFTA complaint filed. – World Animals Voice

Germany: dirty blood business with PMSG – World Animals Voice

The blood farms in South America – World Animals Voice