Volunteers in Ukraine have been risking their lives to save and rescue abandoned animals amid the ongoing war. It has now been nearly one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but volunteers have not given up helping abandoned animals.
The Yampil Zoo in the eastern Donetsk region was liberated by Ukrainian forces on September 30 after five months of Russian occupation. When rescue workers arrived back at the zoo 10 days later, they reported that they found animal skeletons and pieces of flesh and bones scattered across the zoo.
Volunteers reported that Russian soldiers were allegedly so hungry that they resorted to eating zoo animals at the Yampil Zoo in Ukraine. Volunteer rescue workers reported that the soldiers killed and ate two camels, a kangaroo, a bison, some piglets, birds, and wolves.
They did find one animal that was fighting for their life. The bear was in horrible condition, and volunteers worked hard to save the bear. Olena Bila, a volunteer who came to the bear’s rescue in late September, said that if they came just five days later, the bear would not have survived.
When she arrived, she found the bear in a tiny cage and drowning in his excrement. The bear was thin and had a concussion from a shell that had exploded near his cage. Luckily, they got the bear out safely, and now the animal lives in better conditions at a zoo in Poland.
Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, millions of people have now fled, many with their beloved pets in their arms. The unpredictability of the devastating war has forced many Ukrainians to make tough choices about what to take with them.
Many don’t know when and if they will be able to return home. There have been many donations of money and food to these shelters, and animal shelters and zoos are slowly making their way to borders to seek safety, but situations aren’t easy.
So many innocent lives have been lost, countless volunteers are helping to rescue animals all over the country, and many people are staying behind to help feed hundreds of refugees every day.
The impact of the Russian invasion has been devastating for the environment and the global food supply and has even caused mass animal deaths like these dolphins in the Black Sea. Activists all around the world are standing for the people of Ukraine and demanding an end to this war.
This article by Hailey Kanowsky was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 4 January 2023.
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.
Fighting for Wildlife supports approved wildlife conservation organizations, which spend at least 80 percent of the money they raise on actual fieldwork, rather than administration and fundraising. When making a donation you can designate for which type of initiative it should be used – wildlife, oceans, forests or climate.