A Ukrainian zoo which has almost been completely destroyed by Russian shelling is to put all the animals to sleep.
The founder of the wildlife eco-park in Kharkiv revealed there is no way of rescuing the large animals at the attraction, which is believed to be the oldest zoo in Ukraine.
The website for the animal centre claims it keeps more than 6,000 animals. However, the Ukrainian MP, Oleksandr Feldman, who founded the zoo says Russian shelling has left them with no option but to put the animals to sleep because there is no possibility to evacuate or transport them.
Feldman posted a video on social media addressing the future of the animals and the zoo as he broke the devastating news about the centre and the grim reality about the future of the wildlife, according to Mirror Online.
He said “There is no more Ecopark. After yesterday’s shelling, I can say that the park has been almost completely destroyed.
“Animal cages have been destroyed, all the infrastructure has been destroyed, but tigers and lions have miraculously survived. Their cages have been badly damaged, and they can go outside at any moment.”
He said the enclosure where the bears are based is in a dreadful condition and they would be forced to “kill them, put them to sleep or move them.”
“The building where the bears live is in terrible condition. Today we will have to make a decision. We have until the evening to decide either to kill each one, put them to sleep, or to move them,” he said.
The zoo boss said there was nowhere where they could take the creatures and hoped to save some of them, with younger big cats possible.
But he added that all adult animals “are likely to be put down” as they could not be rescued or re-homed.
The attraction’s website says Kharkviv Zoo is the oldest in Ukraine.
It was opened in 1895 for visitors in 1903 and is based in the heart of the city next to the Park Shevchenko.
The Zoo which covers 22 hectares and is home to 6810 animals
It considers 103 species to be rare and are under protection and led to new animals being bred at attraction.
In a video by news channel Nexta on Twitter, the Ukrainian MP said: “ #Russian troops have almost completely destroyed the ecopark in #Kharkiv
“Today by the end of the day a decision will be made to put the tigers and lions down, because their enclosures have been destroyed.”