Ukrainian teen, 15, killed in artillery fire while trying to evacuate animals from zoo.
Kharkiv area has seen heavy fighting during Russia’s invasion of Ukraineents
A 15-year-old teenager reportedly has been killed in eastern Ukraine while trying to help evacuate animals from a zoo.
The Feldman Ecopark outside the city of Kharkiv – which has seen rampant fighting during the war – said Wednesday that “during the evacuation of buffaloes… the team of our employees and volunteers got under fire.”
“One person died. Two people were seriously injured. Doctors are fighting for their lives,” it posted on Facebook.
“The deceased boy was only 15 years old,” the zoo added, noting that “he helped his parents to feed and evacuate the animals.”
“The blessed memory of the hero will always remain in our hearts,” Feldman Ecopark also said in a statement. “This is the sixth victim from among members of our team.”
May 5 (UPI) — A 15-year-old volunteer was killed in Russian shelling at the Feldman Ecopark zoo in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday as rescuers worked to evacuate animals.
Dennis Selevina died 30 minutes after arriving at a local hospital after the Russians shelled the zoo.
Oleksandr Feldman, Ukrainian MP delivered the news of the boy’s death on Facebook.
According to Ukraine media outlet Ukrinform, Russian troops almost completely destroyed the Feldman Ecopark.
Efforts to move the animals to safety have been going on for weeks. At least five employees have died in the invasion, along with 100 animals.
Feldman Ecopark said in statement on its website that a team of employees and volunteers came under fire from the Russians as they worked to evacuate animals.
Two people were also seriously injured in the shelling. Doctors worked Thursday to save the lives of the two wounded, according to Feldman Ecopark.
The zoo said the boy helped his parents to feed and evacuate the animals.
“The blessed memory of the hero will always remain in our hearts,” the Feldman Ecopark statement said.
The zoo said this is the sixth victim among workers at the zoo.
On April 21, Feldman Ecopark said two employees who had gone missing in March were found dead.
The zoo has been working to evacuate animals since Russian military attacks destroyed enclosures and other infrastructure.
Ukrainian forces appear to have had some success in a counteroffensive near Kharkiv in recent days, taking several small towns in the area. On Monday Ukrainian troops retook the city of Staryi Saltiv, roughly 30 miles east of Kharkiv.
Ukraine Armed Forces Commander Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said in a Telegram post Thursday that he had briefed U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley on Ukraine’s counter-offensive efforts in Kharkiv and Izium.
In the post, General Zaluzhnyi said Russia is using cruise missiles to try to destroy “logistical routes to provide military and technical assistance to Ukraine.”