Kharviv zoo’s horses and other animals safe, but two employees killed

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The barn of the horse complex at Feldman Ecopark in Kharviv is to be repaired.
The barn of the horse complex at Feldman Ecopark in Kharviv is to be repaired. © Feldman Ecopark

A newly built barn at the horse complex of the Feldman Ecopark in Kharviv in Ukraine has been badly damaged by shelling by Russian troops but the zoo is vowing to rebuild.

All of the equines at the complex were evacuated before the attack on the barn, and were safe.

“Only the infrastructure was seriously damaged. It is sad, since so much effort and funds had been invested in it, but this can be fixed – after the victory we will definitely rebuild everything and make it even better!” park officials said.

Staff members are continuing to evacuate the animals. “Today we have taken out three gray wolves, which had been confiscated as contraband by the customs and given to us for temporary accommodation, as well as a cassowary and a group of five donkeys.

“Taking out of the last animals – kind and peaceful as a rule – was difficult, but we managed, all the rescued animals are doing well and are already heading to their temporary homes. All animals will definitely be saved.”

Two employees of the zoo who stayed behind to care for the animals and had been missing since early March were found dead on Monday. Staff had searched for them unsuccessfully and alerted law enforcement.

The pair had been shot by Russian soldiers and their bodies barricaded in a back room.

• The Olexander Feldman Foundation is implementing two charitable programs, with all funds raised to be used exclusively to save people and animals from the consequences of the war and humanitarian catastrophe.

  • “Help your neighbor” to deliver humanitarian aid, primarily food to the residents of the most remote and shelled areas of Kharkiv.
  • “Save the Animals” to provide animal feed to Feldman Ecopark, which is being subjected to regular shelling and bombing, as well as the evacuation of animals to safety.

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