Explosions near Kyiv zoo, Italian stays with rescue animals in Ukraine

Woman with little dog under her coat, animal news
A woman carries her dog after fleeing from Ukraine to Romania, February 27, 2022, photo: Reuters/Stoyan Nenov

“Extremely hard combat near the Kyiv Zoo now,” journalist journalist Illia Ponomarenko with The Kyiv Independent tweeted on Saturday. Since Russia attacked Ukraine on Thursday, hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country.

Kyiv Zoo is the only large zoo in Ukraine and home to more than 2000 animals. The zoo said in a Facebook post that the zoo is closed, but around 50 people are taking care of the animals day and night.

“Military actions cause terrible stress in animals, so some of them are moved to internal enclosures and underground galleries. Veterinarians monitor their emotional state and provide sedatives as needed,” Cyril Trantin, director of the zoo, said. On Sunday, two baby goats were born at the zoo.

Italian won’t leave his rescue animals behind
Italian photographer Andrea Cisternino runs the animal sanctuary Rifugio Italia KJ2 in Kyiv, where he has rescued farm animals and stray cats and dogs. He says he won’t leave his animals behind and keeps his followers posted on his Facebook page.

Easier to evacuate pets
As many people fled from Ukraine to neighbouring countries for the past three days, it was at first challenging to bring their dogs or cats, since regulations to bring companion animals were strict. But Hungary, Poland, and Romania are making entry for animals easier, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said.

Polish animal lovers are at the border to help transport animals into Poland, International Aid For Animals Foundation said on Facebook. There are safe places for small animals, cats, dogs, horses, cows.

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