Australians have helped rescue nine doomed lions left in a Ukrainian zoo.
As Russia's invasion of its neighbour raged, South African sanctuary owner and local welfare group Animals Australia launched a plan to save the animals
Louise Bonomi, director of development at Animals Australia, said Lionel de Lange from Warriors of Wildlife had been rescuing animals from Ukrainian zoos for many years.
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But with the war continuing, this was a big challenge.
"The financial support is the easiest bit in a way; he's an incredible brave person to be able to go into the country and get those lions out," Bonomi said.
Aussie donations helped get the lions to safety in Romania
In a three-day operation, de Lange entered Ukraine from Romania via Moldova and headed heading for the port city of Odessa to get the creatures.
He said some were happier than others about the move.
"They've never been in small crates on the back of a truck," de Lange said.
"Some of them travelled really well, others not so well, but they all got there safely in the end."
de Lange also dropped off hundred of kilograms of pet food for the thousands of pets abandoned as refugees fled war zones.
The pride of lions is now enjoying the soft Romanian grass in a zoo, as they await movement towards their forever home.
de Lange said it was all possible thanks to Australians' donations.
"Without them, we could have never have done this. We thank all the Australian public," he said.