The Feldman Ecopark in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region continues to save animals as Russian bombs fall all around — and into — the zoo
Nine kangaroos are the latest evacuees from the facility, which is normally home to 5,000 animals, and are safe now.
“Unfortunately their enclosures have been repeatedly bombarded,” the zoo posted on Facebook Saturday. “We believe that everything will be fine for them! A huge thank you to the volunteers and staff at risk to save animals, as well as our many friends, ordinary people, business structures and community organizations helping us financially and making our rescue operations possible.”
Three bear macaque sisters were previously evacuated, as were turtles monkeys, orangutans, nine chimps, other primates, lemurs, birds and 22 alpacas.
The facility is asking for donations to help rescue its animals and keep feeding the ones that remain.
The zoo, which is in northeastern Ukraine not far from the Russian border, has not been spared shelling.
The facility posted photos of one such attack Sunday — including an image of its mandrill named Stepan, a victim of the shelling.
And Stepan is just the latest victim.
Other victims of what the zoo described as “barbaric shelling” include four fallow deer and three Welsh goats. That’s on top of large cats, a number of primates, ungulates, marsupials, birds and deer that have all been killed. Two red wolves have escaped and at least 20 deer ran away into nearby forests when their enclosures were destroyed.
“These animals can quite well feed themselves and survive in the wild,” the zoo said. “We appeal to the hunters. Please don’t shoot these animals. They are accustomed to people.”
Two people have also been killed while trying to feed and take care of the animals.
“Feldman Ecopark has been on the line of fire for a last month,” the facility explained.
Still, as the war rages into a second month, staff at the zoo have gone back to work.
“It seems to me that no matter how hard and scary it is, now is the time for us to return to work,” the facility posted.
It thanked people around the world that have stepped up to help, but staff know they need to also rely on themselves.
“The sooner we begin to put our city in order, to improve life in it, so the brighter we will show the aggressor that we are at home here, that we will never leave Kharkiv and victory will be ours,” the zoo added.