The animals at Kharkiv Zoo are facing starvation once again since the city is running out of money. The 114-years-old zoo houses over 6,000 classic zoo animals.
In January, the city had to move funds from the zoo to other places as the country was fighting against now ousted Russia-backed president Viktor Yanukovych. He was ousted on February 22, but the financial situation worsened when it was discovered he bankrupted the nation.
Then, in March, zoo director Alexey Grigoriev asked Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniyuk for more money. He said the animals do not deserve to be punished. The locals caught wind of the situation and donated so much food the zoo did not know what to do with it all. They received over $10,050 dollars and people visited the zoo. The animals also received help from entrepreneur Lionel de Lange and “made it his personal mission to save all the animals from starvation.” He pleaded to the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) for help.
While LAEO has raised enough funds since late March to cover two weeks of needed food and medical supplies, the situation is still perilous, with only enough food available now for one more week.
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 attendances are enough to render the zoo self-sufficient once again.
The zoo has a Facebook page and a local band is holding a fundraising concert for the animals. All the proceeds go to the zoo. Kate Woolf, founder of the Lotus Elephant Sanctuary, setup a GoFundMe.com page for the zoo and raised over $4,000. There is a Zoo Relief Fund on their website.
Photo Credit: Kharkiv Zoo Facebook