Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) Ukraine

By Bill Roncali | November 8, 2022

With all going on in the Ukraine over the past decade, LAEO played a very important role in rescuing wildlife found in inhumane conditions there. From 2014 to early 2020, our Ukraine Chapter rescued and relocated animals in horribly substandard zoos and menageries in the war torn country.

In 2019, our Ukraine team, with the help of other organizations, successfully relocated 5 suffering lions from Ukraine to a preserve in South Africa where they could live out their days in an area of natural habitat and be well taken care of by a highly-respected, ethical and caring sanctuary. It was a long journey to their new home at the Ubuntu Spirit of Africa Wildlife Sanctuary, but they were moved from a life of tiny, cold cages in snowy Ukraine to warm, sunny climes in South Africa. Now, nearly four years later, the lions are well acclimated to their new home.

Unfortunately, however, Mia, who was an older lion cub when she left Ukraine, has just become seriously ill. The sanctuary’s veterinary surgeon, Dr. Pete Caldwell, examined her and regretfully gave an alarming diagnosis – lymphoma and possibly a blood cancer with the need to be transported as quickly as possible to a veterinary hospital for further tests and treatment.

When the preserve informed us of her condition, we were able to play a part in arranging the financial logistics to cover her transport and medical care, and necessary support for the Ubuntu Sanctuary to continue to operate and expand their excellent work during these challenging times. More testing is needed and Mia will be treated but her bill will be large. The very good news is that, with the help of a generous donor, she is getting the help that she needs.


Mia is only four years old and deserves a much longer life, especially after her traumatic and unnatural first several months. She has one of the best physicians in the area taking care of her and we are extremely hopeful that she will do well. We will keep you updated on her condition.Mia


Watch the short and heartwarming video of the five lion cubs’ journey from the Ukraine to the Ubuntu Spirit of Africa Wildlife Sanctuary

Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) has been applying the principle we describe as “Cooperative Ecology” since the beginning of our group’s existence. Rescuing animals all over the world to give them a better life has been just one of the many ways in which we apply this principle. LAEO has gone into multiple active war zones to rescue animals starving to death in zoos and other preserves. Often, care takers of zoos or preserves leave the animals unattended in their cages, starving and dehydrated during wars. When we have the funding resources to do it, LAEO has gone into areas where most don’t dare to go, working to bring order back into an area of chaos and to rescue animals who, through no causation of their own, are trapped in inhumane circumstances. This has included being a strong voice against the illegal poaching of endangered wildlife in Africa.

Stay tuned for updates on Mia’s progress.