Animals saved from sanctuary as war rages

Animals saved from sanctuary as war rages

Six lions, six tigers, two caracals and an African wild dog have been saved from a rescue sanctuary in war-torn Ukraine and driven to safety in Poland.

The animals were from a sanctuary in Kyiv near an airport where there has been intense fighting.

However, about 4,000 animals remain at Kyiv Zoo, which says it has food for only around 10 more days as Russia’s brutal assault closes in on the city.

Natalia Popova, who runs the sanctuary, told how rescuers formed a modern day Noah’s Ark in a bid to evacuate animals from Ukraine.

While 80 more are still to be saved, those that did get out have now arrived in Poland following a six-day trek during which their convoy was at one stage surrounded by a fleet of Russian tanks.

Staff at Poznan Zoo in Poland said: “Yesterday around 6pm we received tragic news that the transport of animals we are waiting for on the Polish border was surrounded by Russian tanks.


“We spent the night waiting for the news, fearing the worst.

“Today a miracle happened! Kiev defenders carried out transport through the occupation line.”

Since arriving at their new home in Poland the animals haven been checked over by vets.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, Kyiv Zoo said military actions have caused so much stress for their animals but thankfully they were all in stable conditions.

“The zoo is closed to visitors, but the care of the animals does not stop,” it said.

“The war is causing terrible stress for the animals, so some of them have been moved to indoor enclosures and underground galleries. Veterinarians monitor their emotional state and, if necessary, provide a sedative.”

Zoo Poznań is still working with zoos and rescue partners in Ukraine to evacuate as many animals as possible following Russia’s invasion of their western neighbour.

They also said they hope to be able to send supplies and help to a zoo in Lviv.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.