Kharkiv zoo prepares to kill lions and tigers in case Russian bombings unleash them in the city

The owner of a zoo in the war-torn Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has made the heartbreaking decision to cull all large animals, including tigers and lions.

Although several animals in the Feldman Ecopark survived relentless bombardment by Russian forces for more than five weeks, the facility was devastated, posing risks for predators venturing into the town.

He says the surviving animals can escape at any time and must be put down, although he remains hopeful that some adolescent big cats can be rescued and transported elsewhere.

“Feldman Ecopark no longer exists. The enclosures were destroyed, all the infrastructure was destroyed,” zoo owner Alexander Feldman said in a video posted on Facebook.

He warned that the enclosures were badly damaged, which could lead to animals, including big cats, entering the streets. Mr Feldman said it was a “miracle” that the tigers and lions were still alive despite the destruction of their cages.

“By tonight we’ll decide whether to cull them all or transport them somewhere else… Maybe we’ll save baby jaguars, baby panthers, but all adult animals will probably be euthanized,” he said. -he declares.

The zoo team was working in the Chutovo region to find a way to save the animals, the owner said. “Failing that, the only option left to us is to put the predators to sleep. It’s incredibly painful to talk about, but the main priority now is people’s lives,” read the video’s caption.

Three staff members were reportedly killed and dozens more injured while trying to feed the animals.

Staff were able to visit chimpanzees and orangutans on March 4 for the first time since the start of the war. According to reports, the monkeys had been sheltered by the Kharkov Zoo.

Earlier on Tuesday, a man rescued the only Ukrainian family of tapirs and eight kangaroos from the Felman Ecopark, which was on fire due to Russian shelling.

Meanwhile, more than a month after Russia’s unprovoked invasion, the United States and its allies are preparing to impose new sanctions on Moscow for the killings of civilians in Bucha.

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