Urgent plea for trucks to evacuate horses from Ukraine

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Equine groups are seeking medium-sized vehicles that can take up to five horses, with the ability to attach a two-horse trailer. Road blocks are making it difficult for larger vehicles to navigate.
Equine groups are seeking medium-sized vehicles that can take up to five horses, with the ability to attach a two-horse trailer. Road blocks are making it difficult for larger vehicles to navigate. File image.

Transporters are being sought to help evacuate horses out of Ukraine following the Russian invasion, with horse owners in more than 25 locations across the country asking for help.

The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation said that local people are coordinated, know the routes, have the drivers, can acquire the fuel.

“But there is a shortage of vehicles for horse transportation. At this moment there are two cars towing trailers that are taking trips back and forth to bring two horses at a time from the danger zone to the closest transportation stable to await evacuation.”

The Ukrainian Horse Society and Ukrainian Horse Union are seeking medium-sized vehicles without living quarters that can take up to five horses, with the ability to attach a two-horse trailer. The road blocks are making it difficult for larger vehicles to navigate.

Horse vans and cars with trailers can be arranged to cross the border from Poland to Ukraine as part of the humanitarian convoys.

“We are looking for a contact who can find a way to deliver a horse transport capable vehicle to Poland/Ukrainian border within next few days and donate it to be used as around-the-clock transportation to bring horses to safety. Please write support@helpukrainehorses.eu with the subject ‘Donate vehicle’ if you are able to do so.”

Media reports suggest that former leading showjumper Cornet Obolensky is among horses evacuated from Zhashkov Stud Farm, about 95 miles from Kyev. Ridden by Marco Kutscher, Cornet Obolensky, now 23, represented Germany at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Games as well as two FEI World Cup Finals. They were part of the team that won gold at the 2011 European Championships in Spain. Cornet Obolensky’s son Comme Il Faut 5, aged 17, was also evacuated, and both stallions are waiting to cross the border.

• The bank account that was opened for donations on Thursday received more than €4500 by Friday night, the foundation said. It was working to provide easier options to donate.

A young tiger evacuated from a Ukrainian sanctuary at its temporary home at the Poznań Zoo in Poland during the 2022 Ukraine conflict.
A young tiger evacuated from a Ukrainian sanctuary at its temporary home at the Poznań Zoo in Poland during the 2022 Ukraine conflict. © Poznań Zoo

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has partnered with the Poznań Zoo in Poland to help provide temporary shelter and care for wildlife evacuated from a sanctuary in Kyiv.

The nail-biting rescue began when local authorities in Poznań approved the zoo’s request to provide a safe place for wildlife being evacuated from the sanctuary. Zoo director Ewa Zgrabczyńska, her team, and sanctuary staff made preparations for the massive relocation operation.

After a long, perilous journey that included opposition and gunfire from Russian tanks, the animals arrived at the Polish border safely.

The animals were unloaded at the zoo and have been recovering ever since. “Each animal is dealing with the trauma of war in different ways — they are resting, eating, and sleeping away the stress of their precarious rescue.”

The IFAW has awarded an emergency grant to Save Wild’s White Rock Bear Shelter, a bear rehabilitation center in Chubyns’ke outside Kyiv. Staff and volunteers sheltered in place to care for their animals after armed conflict near the city intensified. Since then, the bears have been evacuated and relocated to the Four Paws’ Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr in the Lviv region of Ukraine.

The IFAW has also reported that its shelter partners in Ukraine have received additional transfers of emergency funds to help buy more than six tons of pet food and veterinary supplies.

“Tragically, we received reports this week from partners of more shelling, resulting in damage to facilities and loss of 24 dogs.”

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