Animals in Ukrainian Zoos Dying from Starvation
Because of Russian Bombing and Attacks
Care2 Action Alerts
(April 3, 2022) — More than one month ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a violent invasion of Ukraine, an innocent neighboring country. And it’s not only people who are paying the price, but helpless zoo animals, too. In total, more than 10,000 animals are in danger at zoos and reserves in Ukraine right now. These include rare and endangered species like polar bears, tigers, wolves, black leopards, and giraffes. Staff at multiple nature reserves and zoos in the country, especially in the cities of Mariupol, Odessa, and Kyiv, are terrified their animals will die — and indeed, some have already begun to perish.
Despite everything, staff and volunteers have been fighting to provide for these captive zoo creatures. But these heroic efforts can only achieve so much in the midst of a war. Receiving shipments of the food they require is nearly impossible right now. Additionally, many utilities have been bombed out of commission, thrusting zoos into darkness and cold. That’s not to mention the stress and fear the creatures endure when hearing explosions going off all around them.
At the Park XII Months Zoo near Kyiv, officials say a number of animals there have already died due to cold and hunger. There is only one person responsible for whether or not these helpless, captive animals live or die: Putin. He must end this brutal, senseless bombardment — and if he will not do it, his advisors must.
Animals don’t know what is happening when it comes to war. All they know is that they’re cold, scared, and starving. One moment, they are sitting in their enclosure receiving food or looking into the eyes of visitors — and the next, without explanation or reason, they are surrounded by explosions, death, shuddering buildings, and deprived of utilities and food. This stress alone can be deadly.
On top of that, receiving shipments of the food they require is nearly impossible right now due to Putin’s military attacks. Additionally, with many utilities bombed out of commission, many zoos have been thrown into darkness and cold — in a country that is not free from winter yet. At the Park XII Months Zoo near Kyiv, officials say a number of animals there have already died due to cold and hunger. Yet these contained spaces currently provide the creatures’ best hopes for safety.
As the organization Animal Survival has stated, “If the animals flee, their fates are sealed; they will be mown down in the war.”
Ukrainians are not the ones responsible for whether or not these helpless, captive animals live or die — Putin is. It’s time for him to realize that the way to get what he wants is not through sheer, brutal force. He must end this bombardment of Ukraine, including Ukrainian zoos and reserves! And if he won’t see reason and cease his horrific campaign of murder, his advisors must end the war themselves.