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Updates on the Starving Bears & Lions of Gyumri

Fri 29th Jan 2016


Dear Supporters,

Fantastic news –

Today, the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) in collaboration with the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) have organised the rescue of the Gyumri Zoo lioness Mery and her cubs Zita and Gita to the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, a privately protected area managed by the FPWC.

No matter the unfavorable weather conditions and snow, which resulted in mobilisation of more resources than planned initially, the transfer of the last inhabitants of Gyumri Zoo was managed seamlessly. The lions are in a good physical and mental state after the adventurous experience.

Gyumri Zoo lions are now part of a larger conservation picture. According to the memorandum signed between WVS and FPWC on February 2, 2016, the parties will work together towards in-situ conservation, animal rehabilitation and rescue initiatives in Armenia. The construction of a quarantine station for animals in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, where the lions will be kept for vet examination and medicinal treatment, will mark yet another point of successful collaboration between FPWC and WVS. The quarantine station will also be the foundation stone of the Wildlife Rescue Centre, an even larger sustainable project the partners are currently designating.

It’s only because of the huge tide of support we have received that this has been possible. It may only be the first step on a much bigger journey for Mery, Gita and Zita but getting them out of the ‘World’s Saddest Zoo’ asap was imperative and a brilliant achievement by all the teams concerned.

A particular thank you to International Animal Rescue who have been a phenomenal support in this! Also thanks to everyone who donated to WVS, including Protect Animals Worldwide (P.A.W). Finally, a massive thank you to an anonymous donor (very mysterious!) who clearly has a massive heart and helped us with the extra vital funds required to make this first achievement a reality.

Onwards and upwards! We’re doing this!!!!