|Austrian animal welfare organization Four Paws says it has delivered 20 tons of food to zoos in Ukraine to prevent animals from starving during the war which has disrupted supplies of food, hay and medicine.
Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) will transport the supplies to Kyiv via Hungary. An ÖBB train left Vienna on Friday and will deliver food to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.
From there, trucks will further deliver the goods to Kyiv Zoo, which will distribute the supplies to six other zoos in the region, according to a press release.
“The war in Ukraine continues without an end in sight, with the Ukrainian people and their animals are still suffering from the untold tragedy and horror of the conflict,” the group said.
It said that a zoo in Kharkiv was heavily damaged by shelling at the beginning of April, and many animals suffered from stress caused by the noise of the explosions and fighting.
In March, Ukraine’s Ministry of Environmental Protection contacted Four Paws and ask for relief help for Ukrainian zoos.
The animal welfare group is sending 10 tons of pellet food and dry hay each for zoo animals, such as elephants, primates, grazers, and birds, to Kyiv Zoo.
The zoo will store the food and then distribute it further to Kharkiv Zoo, Mykolayiv Zoo, Cherkassy Zoo, Odesa Zoo, Mena Zoo, and XII Months Zoo which have all been hit by the Russian invasion now in its third month.”
‘Lack of everything’
“We want to do everything we can at this stage to support the zoos affected by the war so the brave staff can stay on-site and can continue to care for the animals,” he said.
“The animals did not choose to be there. They are trapped. They are vulnerable and precious, and we need to protect them.”
ÖBB spokesperson Bernd Winter said the company was “happy to support Four Paws with the delivery of the food for the animals in Ukraine. The Rail Cargo Group is ready for any kind of help related to what we do best – transport and logistic services…. so that food for zoo animals in Ukraine can reach their destination safely and reliably.”