These Ukrainian Zookeepers Stayed Behind To Protect Their Animals
Many are evacuating Ukraine, and who can blame them? But one group of Kyiv zookeepers are staying behind to protect their animals.
While some Ukrainian celebrities are fleeing their home country, many people have decided to stay in Ukraine. Some are joining the fight and protecting their loved ones. For employees of the Kyiv Zoo, it is about saving the dozens of animals under their care and protecting them from constant explosions and gunfire.
Kyiv Zookeepers Move Into Zoo
The zookeepers are now living in the zoo with their families. They take care of every animal, from a shell-shocked elephant on tranquilizers to a lemur so stressed out she abandoned her baby. These animals are in distress from the bombing and deteriorating conditions.
“Fearing the worst — and seeking shelter from attacks in their own neighborhoods — around 50 staff members have moved into the sprawling facility to care for the animals around-the-clock, bringing some 30 family members with them.”
The logistics of moving animals out of the country during regular times is complicated, but it is nearly impossible during wartime.
While some animals are freaking out by the sounds and explosions, some, like 47-year-old gorilla Tony, miss their visitors and friends. Tony was previously under the sponsorship of American actress Hayden Panettiere, who helped build him an enclosure.
Hayden Panettiere builds a new home for Tony the gorilla at the Kiev Zoo – see the adorable photos: http://t.co/l0akN6iT9s
— People (@people) November 22, 2014
As the conflict intensifies and Russia circles Kyiv, it’s unlikely many of these creatures will be able to escape. My hope and prayer are that Russia ends its bombing and shelling non-military targets.
While some animals are moving to Poland, there are several still stranded at zoo facilities across Ukraine.
Staff at the Kyiv zoo have been living with their families in the zoo since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began to take care of the animals. They call themselves the ‘zoo military commune’ https://t.co/tUWexW9VMX pic.twitter.com/5uUsSQHhIt
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 4, 2022
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While thousands of civilians are fleeing Kiev, you know who isn’t?
These zookeepers. They’re staying behind to look after all the animals at the Kiev Zoo.
— Goodable (@Goodable) March 6, 2022
Newsweek is reporting that Zoo Poznan in Poland is taking in animals that have been evacuated from a zoo near Kyiv, Ukraine. The are currently in transport near the border. 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/E22ojrpPMF
— Lorenzo The Cat (@LorenzoTheCat) March 1, 2022
I wish some of us had a tenth of the heroism as these zookeepers do. If the keepers had left, no one would fault them. Human life is more precious than animal life, but sticking to the duty and promise to protect these animals is the definition of character under fire.
Frankly, I am not sure I would stay. Sure, we all say we would stay behind and fight, but we live in a beautiful and safe country where wars like this are nothing but a clip on a screen.
Now Here Are Some Cute Animal Pictures!
Now, if you’re like me, you can’t stand to see animals in peril. So here are a few pics of animals having fun to put you a bit at ease.
Baby Elephant Bathing Mania! pic.twitter.com/Q2uvUoIAyS
— 👑 💮St. Thairalumen💮 🐲 (@Thairalumen) June 25, 2016
Fiona tries to show Tucker who is boss! Hippos can open their mouths about three times wider than people can. Temperatures must be 40 degrees or warmer for Fiona the hippo to be outside. #TeamFiona pic.twitter.com/MJ4T60AWhx
— Cincinnati Zoo (@CincinnatiZoo) March 7, 2022
Mountain lion cubs cuddling with each other pic.twitter.com/YbH6dER4H9
— Our Planet Earth 🌍 (@wxwows) November 27, 2015
I hope you will join me in praying for peace and an end to this war.
Next, Read This: Steven Seagal Breaks Silence On War In Ukraine