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In late 1939, as the Germans occupied Warsaw, the city zoo became a sanctuary for hundreds of Polish Jews, who were hidden in the lions' cages by Jan and Antonina Zabinski, the keepers of the zoo. Most of those who were hidden were ultimately smuggled out of the country to freedom.But there's a dark parallel tale within this story: while the Zabinskis were helping to save a race of people from extermination, Germany´s eminent zoologist, Lutz Heck, had commandeered the Warsaw zoo in order to try and re-introduce, through rudimentary genetic engineering, an extinct species of ox known as the aurach.