A Ukrainian zoo is set to kill thousands of its animals after volunteers were forced to flee Russian shelling.
Feldman Ecopark in Kharkiv says its largest animals – including bears and lions – should be destroyed as there is no way to keep them safe.
Oleksandr Feldman, the park’s founder and a local MP, told the creatures are able to escape as their casings have been damaged.
“There is no Ecopark anymore,” he said.
“After yesterday’s shellingI can say that the park was almost completely destroyed.”
“Animal cages were destroyed, all infrastructure was destroyed, but tigers and lions miraculously survived.”
“Their cages have been badly damaged and they may go outside at any moment.”
The bear enclosure is particularly badly damaged and he has only a few hours to decide if the creatures can be saved.
However, with time running out, any adult animals will “probably be euthanized” as there is no hope of giving them a new home, he said.
In total, there are more than 6,000 animals in the attraction.
Meanwhile, heartbreaking photos from the ostrich farm and family ecopark Yasnogorodka, in a village on the outskirts of Kyivshow starved animals.
Others were eaten alive by frantic stray dogs, while several were apparently fired upon by Russian troops engaged in target practice.
The surviving creatures show signs of severe malnutrition and stress.
Terrifying images show ponies collapsing while being loaded onto trucks.
One volunteer, Vitaly Mukhanov, took to Facebook to share his horror after stumbling across the site while tending to Ukrainian soldiers.
“You can see from the pictures that the animals were doing very badly,” he said.
His photos show extensive damage to the zoo itself, likely caused by shelling.
Animals, including camels and ostriches, were left to starve in horror.
Vitaly later told ABC News, “You could tell a lot of the animals were starving.”
Animals used for target practice
“The city was near liberated by the Russians two days ago, so the owner is now returning to the zoo and hopes to be able to evacuate the animals in the next few days.”
However, the attempt to save the creatures can now be canceled.
Akim Akimenko, the owner of Yasnohorodka Eco Park, told local news agency MyKiev: “Ours [zoo] is almost destroyed and the situation in Yasnohorodka is very difficult.”
“There are ongoing struggles. Therefore, we have great difficulties feeding and keeping the animals.”
“We try to evacuate animals and ask everyone who cares for animals to help us organize an evacuation corridor.”
This article originally appeared on The sun and is reproduced here with permission.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/06/ukrainian-zoo-will-put-down-thousands-of-animals-after-russian-shelling/ Ukrainian zoo will ‘kill thousands of animals’ after Russian shelling