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Ukrainian zoo says it may have to euthanize big cats, bears after enclosures destroyed

A Ukrainian zoo said Tuesday that it might have to euthanize several larger animals after their enclosures were destroyed due to Russian shelling. 

“Yesterday and today [Feldman Ecopark] was again subjected to massive shelling and bombardment. Infrastructure destroyed, enclosures destroyed,” zoo founder Alexander Feldman said in a statement. “The biggest problem is large predators.” 

“Maybe we will save baby jaguars, baby panthers, but all adult animals will probably be liquidated,” Feldman said.

The zoo, located in Kharviv, said that its specialists are trying to place the animals in temporary housing, noting this is the only option they have outside of euthanizing bears, lions and tigers. 

“We emphasize that the euthanasia of animals is an extreme measure, which, we very much hope, will not come to. Now we are negotiating with a large number of people and organizations, in particular, with those who can accept our animals in Ukraine and abroad,” Feldman Ecopark said in another statement.

The zoo said last month that officials had been able to visit its chimpanzees and orangutans that were sheltered at the neighboring Kharkiv Zoo for the first time since the conflict began. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February, has caused widespread damage to cities and villages and forced millions of Ukrainian citizens to flee their native country.

Tags big cats Russia-Ukraine conflict Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine Zoo

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