Although the plight of wild animals living in zoos is always sad, what happens when zoo’ have too many animals or close down is even worse. Unfortunately, when zoos are no longer motivated to care for animals because they won’t provide them with a profit, many end up being euthanized or simply left to starve.

Thankfully, this was not the fate for the five lions in this video. After the zoo where they were living in Romania shut down, the veterinarian who had been tasked with caring for the lions refused to let the animals be put down. He was able to get in touch with the good people at Four Paws International, a rescue group dedicated to helping formerly abused wild animals. This amazing organization was able to secure a spot for all five of the lions at Lionsrock in South Africa, a big cat sanctuary which provides a permanent home for animals rescued from zoos and circuses.

Transporting lions across two continents is never an easy thing, but the look on their faces when they step out onto African soil for the first time is priceless. Thanks to the amazingly dedicated crews at Four Paws International and Lionsrock, they will be able to enjoy space and freedom for the rest of their lives.

To donate to Four paws International, visit their website by clicking here.