At the same time, they knew they couldn't leave the cubs where they were.
Luckily, at the same time, Four Paws International was investigating the zoo, trying to coordinate the rescue of its lions.
And one person stepped forward to take on the task of trying to raise the cubs: Marina Georgieva, a volunteer with Wild Animals, was determined to save Masoud and Terez.
Normally, it's best for cubs to stay far away from humans, as they can't be raised well away from their own kind. But because they had nowhere else to go, people realized handraising was their last option. Georgieva tried to keep them safe until they could move to a real rescue facility. For five months, she was their mother, bottle-feeding the cubs and tending to their needs 24 hours a day.
"These five months were the hardest months in my life," she told Four Paws. "I had to stop caring for my family. I didn't go to work for five months."