In Otter News: Ukraine Lion Pride

Ukraine Lion Pride at Wildcat Sanctuary

The Lift checked in with four lion cubs at the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota.

The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone is home to over a hundred rescued wildcats. One of their newest additions is the Ukraine Pride, four lion cubs rescued from the war-torn country.

The cubs now frolic freely in the snow of Northern Minnesota. They don’t seem to mind the cold and have a headed indoor part of their habitat.

Many of the cats at the sanctuary are from private hands, much like these lion cubs. Judson Tharin the communications manager tells us these cubs we’re destined for the exotic pet trade. It’s an issue to affects both the world and as close as our backyards.

“Very simply, these are apex predators,” Judson tell us it’s a problem when it comes to public safety. “I don’t think that we go without a week or so of hearing about some type of wild cat has been found roaming or loose.”

“It’s not just smaller cats. It’s big cats to lions, tigers, leopards that have come from people’s backyards.”

TWS is closed to the public. As Judson tells us, having guests wouldn’t align with the sanctuary mission, “Many of our rescues are coming to us, you know, not in the greatest shape emotionally, physically.” Folk at the sanctuary are hoping that thing will continue to improve with the passage of the Big Cat Safety Act.

But they’ve amassed quite the following online, from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. Through these platforms, education remains key in continuing to do what they do and providing forever home to animals like the Ukraine Lion Pride

Judson explains, ” Something unique that we kind of often say is, you know, we hope to put ourselves out of business one day. You know, we we hope the education that we do is going to come to fruition”