Colleagues at a Ukrainian zoo were stunned to discover the bodies of two Ukrainian zoo workers while evacuating animals to safety, and have accused Russian soldiers of killing them. When staff at the Kharkiv zoo returned amid the Russian invasion to transport the animals to safety on March 7, they were reported missing. During the invasion, their colleagues hoped the two workers had fled and were only just now returning to the zoo. Workers were hopeful that their colleagues would return as they attempted to relocate the animals to a safer area of the country.
It was later revealed that Russian military had’shot and barricaded’ the workers’ bodies in a back room, according to a statement released by the zoo on Tuesday. April 5 brought the news that Ecopark was about to make the tragic decision to destroy its lions, tigers, and bears after being attacked by Russian shelling, generating headlines worldwide. In the midst of anxiety that Russian bombs could demolish enclosures and allow dangerous animals to escape, the zoo came dangerously close to euthanizing the animals.
“The infrastructure and cages are down,” says the narrator. According to the zoo, the main threat is huge predators. Even while their enclosures miraculously remain intact, a single round of bombardment might send the lions, tigers, and bears running for Kharkov or other neighbouring villages. We can’t let this happen. Zoo animals were evacuated from Kharkiv many days after the outbreak of violence, averting disaster.
The second-largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv lies just 20 miles north of the Russian border. Since Vladimir Putin’s invasion on February 24, the country has seen some of its most violent fighting. The zoo was extensively bombed during the war, and three of its employees were killed. This week, after sharing positive news about evacuated animals with its followers, zoo officials were forced to break more bad news: two of the zoo’s employees had been found shot to death, apparently by Russian military. The statement from Feldman Ecopark stated that “war delivers bad news.” They have confirmed that two of our employees who went missing in March have perished. To aid out, they helped feed the animals at the Ecopark when conflict broke out. They were nowhere to be found when they arrived at the Ecopark on March 7th.
We spent a long time looking for them, and we were able to connect law enforcement officers to the hunt. Until the very last, we had hoped that nothing irreversible had occurred and that they would be able to survive. ‘ Even though their bodies were located yesterday, we still don’t know where they are. The bodies of our fallen comrades were found in the back chamber, barred by the enemy. These bold and lovely folks will always be in our hearts and minds. We extend our deepest sympathies to their loved ones. ‘We have no doubt that the inhumans responsible will face justice!’
The owner of Feldman Ecopark and his employees staged a daring escape attempt last week, with the goal of moving the animals to Odessa, where they hope they will be safe. Keepers report that the once-thriving zoo was attacked by Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces as they attempted to load the animals into transport cages for the 500-mile trip through the war-ravaged country. ‘Another excellent day for our team!’ proclaimed Alexander Feldman as the animals were relocated. Generous Ukrainians and foreigners were praised by Feldman for their financial contributions, which made the evacuation possible.
According to him, during the course of the previous week almost 4,000 people helped with the evacuation, treatment, and feeding of Feldman Ecopark animals. Nearly as many individuals have supported us in the past as we have in the prior era since the commencement of Russian war on Ukraine. All around Ukraine, as well as from other countries, people have donated to the cause.
Large animal containers were seen on camera during the evacuation, one of which had a lion that was clearly in distress. Playfully stroking its fur, Mr Feldman was able to keep it quiet when it was relocated. More than 300 species used to call the zoo home. In order to preserve as many animals as possible from the Russian bombardment, Mr Feldman pleaded for financial aid.