Mykhailo Pinchuk, owner and founder of the “XII (12) Months” 动物园 in the village of Demydiv, told Fox News Digital he and the small staff still left are “desperate” to get either safe passage or livable conditions for the roughly 350 animals that include giraffes, 河马, tigers, lions, and chimpanzees. 同时, he’s seeking a “绿色” humanitarian corridor to bring in badly needed food as well as fuel to keep the animals warm. They have been essentially cut off since the second day of the Russian invasion that began Feb. 24.
“[I’m trying] to draw the attention and somehow persuade the [俄语] 军队, their commanders, their politicians, that animals are innocent creatures and these are the lives we have and must save, and they have nothing to do with that war,” Pinchuk told Fox News Digital.
“I really hope they will not die like this,” 他加了.
There is very little food left for the animals, who are being fed far under their usual daily rations. And with Russians encircling Kyiv, the only way out, Pinchuk said, would be to drive north to the hottest combat areas. 至今, he has only been able to get scant Red Cross food rations in for him and his remaining seven staff members at the roughly 40-acre complex.
“To sum up, we see that the only way out for us is they allow us in, we bring in diesel and food for large animals, and then we can take some smaller ones out, and maybe we will be able to preserve the collection,” 他说. “Other than this, it is a question of death of hunger and cold, and it is coming pretty soon, I know that.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little regard for human life with the invasion of Ukraine that has killed thousands on both sides of the conflict, including hundreds of Ukrainian civilians. But he is known for his fondness for animals; he owns numerous dogs and has been photographed with wild animals like dolphins, cranes, and polar bears. The Washington Post even called him a “renowned animal lover” 在 2014.
“While the Russian president may be a former KGB agent and expert in martial arts with a reputation as a fierce political leader, he has frequently shown his softer side around animals,” the Post reported at the time.