Words by Smiley Team
Four Paws, an animal welfare organisation, is providing 20 tonnes of food to zoo animals in Ukraine for the second time since the start of the war. The food is being delivered in partnership with Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), who transported the food to Kyiv via Hungary.
The food will also be distributed to six other zoos in the region. In March, Four Paws was contacted by The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources in Ukraine, and asked if they could help deliver food to zoos across the country affected by the war.
The organisation sent 10 tonnes of pellet food and dry hay for a number of animals such as elephants, primates, game and birds. The food was sent to Kyiv Zoo, where it was stored and then distributed to Kharkiv Zoo, Mykolayiv Zoo, Cherkassy Zoo, Odessa Zoo, Mena Zoo and XII Months Zoo.
By early April, Four Paws had already sent 20 tonnes of food to Kyiv Zoo to save the animals from starvation and support the staff that have stayed to look after them.
“There is a lack of everything right now, from food and medication to caretakers”, says Four Paws veterinarian, Dr Amil Khalil. “Some zoos have been cut off from infrastructure and are not receiving supply and meat deliveries anymore. Therefore, 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 continue to care for the animals.
“The animals did not choose to be there. They are trapped, they are vulnerable and precious and we need to protect them. We are very grateful to ÖBB for their support with this urgently needed supply delivery.”
An ÖBB train left Vienna on the 29th of April to deliver another 20 tonnes of food to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. From there, trucks will deliver the goods to Kyiv Zoo, and then they will distribute the supplies to other zoos in the region.
“We are very happy to support Four Paws with the delivery of food for the animals in Ukraine”, says Bernd Winter, spokesperson for ÖBB. “The Rail Cargo Group is ready for any kind of help related to what we do best - transport and logistics services. This way, donations - in this case food for zoo animals in Ukraine - can reach their destination safely and reliably.”
DONATE: You can support Four Paws and their work championing animal welfare by donating.
SUPPORT: You could also give your support to Blue Cross, an animal welfare charity which has a Ukraine Pet Welfare Fund.