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Thread: Ukraine Turmoil Leaves Zoo Animals Starving

  1. #1
    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Ukraine Turmoil Leaves Zoo Animals Starving

    KIEV, Ukraine, April 7, 2014 (ENS) – Ukraine resident Lionel de Lange, an entrepreneurial, animal-loving, bush war veteran from South Africa, is engaged in a rescue mission – to save more than 6,000 Ukraine zoo animals from starvation brought on by economic and political strife in the region.

    LAEO Ukraine Director Lionel de Lange, left, with Nicolaev Zoo Director Vladimir Topchy, Mar. 2014 (Photo courtesy LAEO)

    These Ukrainian zoo animals are in dire straits because government funding for their food has dried up, De Lange said the animals will starve if aid is not provided by donors.

    De Lange’s first rescue target is Ukraine’s 114 year old Nikolaev Zoo which has survived two world wars. It currently houses 5,735 animals, including big cats, wolves, bears, bison, foxes, monkeys, crocodiles, boa constrictors, deer, and a wide variety of birds and fish.

    “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.

    For assistance, de Lange contacted the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization, LAEO. Located in California, LAEO is named after the South African conservationist who staged the Bagdad Zoo animal rescue mission at the onset of the Iraq War.

    LAEO’s International President Barbara Wiseman immediately launched a fundraising campaign to supply food for the starved zoo animals after learning the details of the crisis from de Lange, who is in direct contact with Ukrainian zoo officials.

    She established a Ukrainian Chapter of LAEO, which de Lange now heads.

    “Just in the past couple of days since we began getting the word out to our members and supporters, people are beginning to step up and donate to ensure none of these animals unnecessarily suffer or perish. We have to cover their immediate needs and get some breathing room here so that we can then help zoo facilities implement self-sustaining longer-term solutions,” said Wiseman.

    Since late March, LAEO has raised enough funds to cover two weeks of needed food and medical supplies for the animals at Nikolaev Zoo and enough food for one more week.

    Siberian tigers at play, Nikolaev Zoo, Ukraine, 2010 (Photo by Abysim)

    The zoo will not have the resources to take care of the animals’ food needs until the end of April when the weather gets warmer and the fees from zoo attendance go into what Wiseman calls “a viable range.”

    Located in the southern Ukraine port city of Mykolayiv, Nikolaev Zoo was founded by then Nikolaev city mayor Nikolai Pavlovich Leontovich on April 26, 1901 with fish and reptiles from his own collection. At first it was considered an aquarium. Later, bison, camels, yaks, deer and ostriches were brought from Askania Nova. Bears, wolves, foxes and monkeys were also purchased for the zoo. After the institution survived two world wars, concerned donors are stepping up to ensure it survives the current turmoil in Ukraine.

    But the Nikolaev Zoo is not the only zoo in Ukraine where the animals are in trouble.

    Ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s private zoo, with over 2,000 animals, was abandoned when he fled the country in February. Although the condition of the zoo facility in Kiev is beautiful and modern, the animals are completely out of food and animals are being stolen by looters, say de Lange and Wiseman.

    “There are a few volunteers there who are going door-to-door in Kiev begging for food for the animals. But the scene is desperate and we are working to raise funds to get through the immediate crisis and then will work with them to figure out a long-term solution,” says Wiseman.

    “The Askonia-Nova Biosphere Reserve is in better shape because, for the moment, the animals can live off the land; but they have run out of necessary supplies to feed the baby animals that are dependent on dry milk and nipples for bottles to feed them and we are working to get those supplies, as well,” she said.

    “This situation underscores the reasons why we submitted to both the UN and the International Criminal Court our proposed Wildlife in War Zones Resolution,” Wiseman said.

    While de Lange cautions anyone against calling Ukraine a war zone, he is determined that zoo animals will not perish as a result of political and economic instability.

    De Lange, owner of Optimum Software Development in the Port Elizabeth area of South Africa, says he did not intend to start an organization, but once he found out more about Lawrence Anthony’s conservation work, he decided to take the problem on and help Ukraine’s zoos become more economically sustainable.

    Ukraine Turmoil Leaves Zoo Animals Starving | Environment News Service

  2. #2
    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    Here is a post from the organization mentioned above and contact information for donations. Please share this in as many web places as you can.

    Your help needed URGENTLY in Ukrainian Zoo

    • Denise Read
    • March 25,2014, 12:43 AM

    Dear Members and Supporters,

    You may know about the extreme political and economic unrest in Ukraine presently, but what you may not be aware of is the effect it is having on the animals at some of the Ukrainian zoos. While many of us are consumed with our own needs and daily lives, sometimes there are others who occasionally need our assistance in order to survive through an immediate crisis. Please take a minute to learn about this very important initiative and what LAEO is doing to handle it.

    Right now, in Ukraine, there are thousands of animals at the mercy of kind people under intense economic duress willing to donate food and supplies in order to ensure the animals stay alive. Their government is having to make extremely difficult economic choices and the zoo has fallen off the priority list. At the Nikolaev Zoo, there are 6000 animals on the brink. There is only enough food left for the carnivores to eat today and tomorrow. The herbivores have enough to last two more weeks. Medical supplies have run out. The zoo will not have the resources to take care of these needs until the end of April when the weather gets warmer and the fees from zoo attendance go into a viable range.

    Based on Lawrence Anthony's extraordinary rescue initiative of the Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, we have been in direct communication with Nikolaev Zoo and let them know that we are taking this situation on.

    We must raise $45,000 in the next few days in order to address their immediate food and medical needs for the next couple of weeks. In four to six weeks, once the weather warms up, the admissions collected by visitors to the zoo will help feed the animals, but we can't wait until then. We want to make sure that not one animal perishes in the present crisis! For those of you familiar with what Lawrence had to deal with in Baghdad, you know how quickly things can get very bad. In just 9 days, before he arrived, that zoo went from 600 animals down to 35. Most died from starvation and dehydration.

    We are asking you to help us ensure that none of these animals die on our watch. Your donation - small or large - will go a long way in helping get this situation turned around. The Director of our Ukrainian Chapter, Lionel De Lange, is committed to ensuring that all funds received go directly towards the food and care of the animals.

    You CAN make a difference.

    We thank you in advance for your help, and will keep you closely updated on our progress.
    Please go to our donate page to make a donation right now!
    Denise Read
    Director of Development

    Your help needed URGENTLY in Ukrainian Zoo!

  3. #3
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    This is just a shame. Those poor things are trapped. I hope they get the help they need.

    Humans take these animals, place them in captivity, use them for entertainment and to make money. When shit hits the fan, they are always left behind to fend for themselves. Sucks.

  4. #4
    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Well poo that depresses me. I love animals more than humans.
    KrisNine and ConstanceSpry like this.

  5. #5
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    If you really want to help the animals in the Ukraine zoos, help the organization that is effectively getting food and medical supplies to them. The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) has already delivered 13 tons of food just in the past 2 weeks. They are the only ones on the ground there working with the zoo officials to get this handled. They’re ensuring that over 10,000 animals in these zoos survive, and they’re making sure the money goes where it is supposed to. Please help them at:

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