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Political Tension in Ukraine Leaves Over 8000 Zoo Animals Starving

Apr 09, 2014 11:51 AM EDT
Ukraine animals
This is a file photo. Zoo owner and artist Aleksandr Pylyshenko nuzzles female African lion Katya through the bars of a cage at his private zoo situated in his backyard in the city of Vasilyevka, southeastern Ukraine September 7, 2011.
(Photo : REUTERS/Stringer )

Recent economic and political turmoil in Ukraine has left thousands Ukraine zoo animals starving.

In a country faced with economic uncertainties, welfare of animals gets least priority.  One man, Lionel de Lange, a Ukraine resident and bush war veteran from South Africa, has made it a personal mission to save these animals, according to the Environment News Service.

One of the zoos affected by lack of government funding is the 114-year-old Nikolaev Zoo. It currently houses 5,735 animals including big cats, wolves and bears.

"At the Nikolaev Zoo, these thousands of animals are on the brink. There is only enough food left for the carnivores to eat today and tomorrow. The herbivores have enough to last one more week. Medical supplies have run out. These animals need our help right now," said de Lange, according to the Environment News Service.

Lionel de Lange has contacted Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization to raise funds for the zoo animals.

According to LAEO, some 2,000 animals at ex-President Yanukovych's private zoo were left to starve after Yanukovych left the country.

Barbara Wiseman, LAEO president, has requested people to donate money to save these animals.

"We must raise the funds necessary to cover about $4,000 per day to handle the animals' most basic subsistence needs of food and medical supplies for the next three months. This will give us the breathing room to be able to help the zoo officials create and implement new methods of funding. We want to make sure that not one animal perishes in the present crisis," Wiseman wrote in a post on the website of LAEO.

Animals in zoos aren't the only ones affected by the tension in Ukraine. Killer dolphins from Crimea were in the news last month after Russian News Agency, RIA Novosti, reported that Russia was taking away the Flipper Fleet.

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