The Feldman Ecopark In Kharkiv, Ukraine, May Be Forced To Euthanize Its Lions, Tigers & Bears After Russian Shellings Destroy Enclosures
Photos by: Alexander Feldman
Update, 11:28am PST:
Reflecting how quickly things can change, especially during times of war, Feldman Ecopark was able to evacuate two lions, a jaguar, and a panther. Feldman updated the status this morning after receiving an incredible response in Ukraine and around the world.
“Transport is already coming to us, the necessary cages are coming, people are coming who are not afraid to take animals out of the shelled zone,” stated an appreciative Feldman. “Of course, everything is still very complicated and the process is only gaining momentum. We still need all sorts of help: physical, logistical, financial, animal feed, etc. But, such broad support gives hope that we will be able to save the maximum possible number of animals.”
The Feldman Ecopark in Kharkiv, Ukraine, is in a desperate situation as Russian shellings have destroyed some of the animals’ enclosures. Alexander Feldman, the owner of the park, might have to make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize the park’s lions, tigers, and bears as a last resort.
The fear is that one more shelling from Russian soldiers could completely destroy the park and the animals could escape into what is left of the war-torn city of Kharkiv. This could cause a threat to the local population that is struggling to survive, as well as to the animals themselves.
“Feldman Ecopark no longer exists. Now, this can be said quite definitely. Yesterday and today it was again subjected to massive shelling and bombardment. Infrastructure destroyed, enclosures destroyed,” Feldman explained in a post on his Facebook page. “The biggest problem is large predators. Their enclosures miraculously still retain their integrity, but one more shelling – and the lions, tigers, and bears, distraught with fear, may be free and go towards Kharkov or to nearby villages. We cannot allow this.”
In a statement on his website, Feldman also noted that he and his team are now negotiating with a large number of people and organizations in Ukraine and abroad that may be able to provide refuge for the displaced animals.
In the meantime, they are working with specialists to provide some of the animals with temporary housing in Chutovo, Poltava region.
“Such an operation requires the presence of special transport and the participation of a fairly large number of people. Which, with a high degree of probability, will attract the attention of the enemy, who, as a rule, responds to activity on the territory of the Ecopark with shelling,” stated Feldman. “Now, this is the most important thing – how to organize, if at all possible, the safest possible removal of the predators.”
“Failing that, the only option left to us is to put the predators to sleep. It is unimaginably painful to talk about this, but the main priority now is the lives of people,” continued the post.
On behalf of the Ecopark and the animals housed there, Feldman is urging for donations and support to try to spare their lives. All funds raised will be used exclusively to save people and animals from the consequences of the war and humanitarian catastrophe. Please consider donating HERE!