NEWS AND OPINION: This will be a very good cat new story for millions of people, and many of us, I suspect, want a good new story at the moment because I can see the world drifting into World War 3 unless we are very careful and we are not being careful.
In this story, Ukrainian lions will become the pride of Yorkshire, UK. A family of lions are being rescued from Ukraine’s Eastern front, the region where the Ukraine war has been the most brutal and relentless.
There have been many animals killed in this war including zoo animals. These lions have survived but they’ve been traumatised according to The Times report. Tom Ball, the Northern Correspondent of The Times says that Teddi, Emi and Santa, three subadult lions and their mother, Aysa, “were exposed to bombings on Ukraine’s Eastern front.”
They were “perilously close to using up their allotted nine lives and are suffering from shell shock.”
They are currently in Poznan, Poland waiting to be moved to a zoo in the north of England, Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The park’s head carnivore keeper, Colin Northcott, said: “They have lived a pretty scary life”. Aysa “witnessed bombs dropping around her. You see it in the way they behave. They are very jumpy and when there is a loud noise they will cower in the corner. So, it’s about giving them a lot of TLC and quietly sitting with them for long periods so that they can get used to you.”
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a well-known center for rescue animals. They’ve saved 13 lions in the past from mistreatment in a Romanian zoo. They were relocated to the park in 2010. When this group of lions were rescued, they built a 7-acre lion enclosure with the help of donations from the public. They plan to use the enclosure for this new batch from Ukraine.
Mr Northcott spent a week in Poland with the lioness who is three years old and her offspring. He played recordings of the kind of sounds that they will hear in Yorkshire such as the “rumble of agricultural machinery, human chatter and the sounds of other animals.”
He wants to acclimatise them to the sounds in order to make their introduction to Yorkshire as smooth as possible. And they deserve it. The four lions are due to arrive next December which gives Mr Northcott time to prepare them and desensitise them to the inevitable fireworks that will be set off on New Year’s Eve.
Which brings to mind my pet hate: fireworks in relation to companion cats and dogs many of which are terrified by the sounds and sights. I recently wrote a page about that which may help some people based upon advice from the well-known cat charity Cats Protection.
Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.