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Zoo in Kharkiv prepares to kill lions, tigers and bears in case Russian shelling allows escape

Zoo in Kharkiv prepares to kill lions, tigers and bears in case Russian shelling allows escape

A zoo in Ukraine on the point of making the heartbreaking decision to destroy its lions, tigers and bears after repeated shelling by Russian troops.

There are fears the wild beasts will otherwise escape into shattered Kharkiv threatening local people who are already living in appalling fear from Vladimir Putin’s missiles and bombs.

Their cages are holed by more five weeks of shelling in the hellish war zone and it is a ‘miracle’ they have not escaped.

Their cages are holed by more five weeks of shelling

The zoo owner said: ‘By some miracle, the tigers and lions have survived. Their cages are badly damaged’

‘One more shelling – and the lions, tigers, bears, distraught with fear, may be free and go towards Kharkiv or to nearby villages,’ said zoo owner Alexander Feldman.

‘We cannot allow this. There is no solution to the problem today.’

The zoo – called Feldman Ecopark – has evacuated some animals including kangaroos and is desperately seeking to move the bigger predators to Poltava region to an old horse-riding complex, but he fears it will not be possible.

The owner of the popular zoo said: 'Feldman Ecopark no longer exists. Now this can be said quite definitely'

The owner of the popular zoo said: ‘Feldman Ecopark no longer exists. Now this can be said quite definitely’

A zoo in Ukraine on the point of making the heartbreaking decision to destroy its lions, tigers and bears after repeated shelling by Russian troops

A zoo in Ukraine on the point of making the heartbreaking decision to destroy its lions, tigers and bears after repeated shelling by Russian troops

‘Failing that, the only option left to us is to put the predators to sleep,’ he said, describing it as ‘the only option’.

‘It is unimaginably painful to talk about this, but the main priority now is the lives of people.’

He added on a video: ‘After yesterday’s massive shelling by missiles and planes, the [zoo] is practically destroyed.

'One more shelling - and the lions, tigers, bears, distraught with fear, may be free and go towards Kharkiv or to nearby villages,' said zoo owner Alexander Feldman (pictured)

‘One more shelling – and the lions, tigers, bears, distraught with fear, may be free and go towards Kharkiv or to nearby villages,’ said zoo owner Alexander Feldman (pictured)

Mr Feldman said that 'after yesterday's massive shelling by missiles and planes, the [zoo] is practically destroyed'

Mr Feldman said that ‘after yesterday’s massive shelling by missiles and planes, the [zoo] is practically destroyed’

The zoo owner added that he will try to save 'the little jaguars' and 'little panthers' if possible

The zoo owner added that he will try to save ‘the little jaguars’ and ‘little panthers’ if possible

‘The aviaries have been destroyed. All the infrastructure has been destroyed.

‘By some miracle, the tigers and lions have survived. Their cages are badly damaged.

‘By tonight, we will decide either to put the bears to sleep or move them. If there are any ideas, maybe we will save some and try to save the little jaguars.

‘Maybe we will save little panthers. But all the other animals are likely to be destroyed.’

The owner of the popular zoo said: ‘Feldman Ecopark no longer exists. Now this can be said quite definitely.

‘Yesterday and today it was again subjected to massive shelling and bombardment. Infrastructure destroyed, enclosures destroyed.’

Shelling on 17 March killed two two orangutans and chimpanzees. Two days later nine deer were slaughtered and 20 escaped to the woods.

Last week a video showed kangaroos being transported to a new home from Feldman Ecopark.

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire caused after Russian shelling struck a house in Kharkiv yesterday

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire caused after Russian shelling struck a house in Kharkiv yesterday

A damaged car and building are seen, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine yesterday

A damaged car and building are seen, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine yesterday

A van driver fleeing with the frightened kangaroos had said: ‘It is one month since the war began and we keep evacuating the animals.’

‘These kangaroos are already safe,’ said the zoo. ‘This is very good, because their enclosures, unfortunately, were repeatedly shelled. We believe that now they will be fine.’

A statement said: ‘Many thanks to volunteers and employees who take risks to save animals, as well as to our many friends – caring people, businesses and non-governmental organisations who help us financially and make our rescue operations possible.

‘Your support truly saves lives.’

A van driver fleeing with the frightened kangaroos had said: 'It is one month since the war began and we keep evacuating the animals'

A van driver fleeing with the frightened kangaroos had said: ‘It is one month since the war began and we keep evacuating the animals’

While the kangaroos were saved from Feldman Ecopark, sadly some have been killed in the attacks.

‘We cannot avoid tragedies,’ a spokesman said at the time. ‘Four fallow deer and three Welsh goats became victims of another barbaric shelling.

‘The list of victims of aggression among our pets is growing – it already includes large cats, primates, ungulates, marsupials, and birds…Feldman Ecopark has been on the line of fire for the last month.’

The zoo once had more than 300 species.

Mr Feldman begged for financial help to save all the animals they can from the Russian bombs – https://feldman-ecopark.com/en/donation/.

It comes as the Ukrainian emergency services posted photos of dead animals in Chernihiv, suggesting domestic creatures were killed by Russian troops as shells littered the region.

The post said: ‘Chernihiv region, our land is unhappy…Shells in every cellar, in every nook and cranny…Poor demilitarized domestic dogs and cows that did not threaten anyone.’

‘Unlike us humans, animals do not feel hatred for these creatures that came to our Ukraine for one purpose only. And even they, these cows and dogs, were destroyed.

‘This is the whole Russian army – killing women, children, animals.’

Russia’s death toll in Ukraine is nearing 20,000, Kyiv has claimed, as Ukraine continues to push back invading Kremlin troops and retake ‘key terrain’ around the capital and Chernihiv. 

Source: Culled From Mail Online.

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