5 May 2022 – FOUR PAWS is once again providing urgently needed relief for zoos in Ukraine that have been affected by the ongoing war.
In early April, FOUR PAWS provided its first delivery of 20 tonnes of pellet food and dry hay for animals in Kyiv Zoo. Now, the global animal welfare organisation is delivering a second 20 tonnes of food to prevent zoo animals from starvation, as well as support for the remaining staff at the zoos caring for them.
This delivery is in partnership with the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), who are transporting the supplies to Kyiv via Hungary. An ÖBB train left Vienna on 29 April and will bring the food to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border. From there, trucks will deliver the goods to Kyiv Zoo, which will distribute the supplies to six other zoos in the region.
The war in Ukraine continues without an end in sight, with the Ukrainian people and their animals suffering from the untold tragedy and horror of the conflict. At the beginning of April, a zoo in Kharkiv was heavily damaged by shelling. Many animals suffer from stress caused by the noise of the explosions and fighting.
In March, FOUR PAWS was contacted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources in Ukraine and requested to contribute to help deliver food to affected zoos in Ukraine. To provide some relief for the zoo animals during these challenging times, FOUR PAWS is sending 20 tonnes of pellet food and dry hay for zoo animals, including 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, Odessa Zoo, Mena Zoo, and XII Months Zoo.
“There is a lack of everything right now, from food and medication to caretakers. 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 can 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,”
says FOUR PAWS veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil, who leads the team preparing the supplies and coordinating the transport.
“The animals did not choose to be there. They are trapped. They are vulnerable and we need to protect them. We are very grateful to ÖBB for their support with this urgently needed supply delivery,” says Dr Amir Khalil.
ÖBB spokesperson Bernd Winter says: “We are very 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. This way, donations – in this case food for zoo animals in Ukraine – can reach their destination safely and reliably.”
Rebecca Linigen, National Director of FOUR PAWS in Australia, said the organisation remains deeply concerned about the armed conflict, and the impact on animals and people.
“FOUR PAWS has been active in Ukraine for ten years and has an office in Kyiv and a bear sanctuary in western Ukraine, and we are committed to helping however we can throughout this conflict, and beyond. In just four weeks, we were also able to deliver a staggering 300 tonnes of pet food across Ukraine, and are working with local partners to provide food and medical supplies to companion animals in need.”
Rebecca Linigen, National Director of FOUR PAWS in Australia
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them.
Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, animals in fashion, farm animals, and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones.
With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org.au