Tallinn Zoo is one of the many zoos in the world that is collecting donations to help the staff and animals of the Ukrainian zoos affected by war.
To allow the Ukrainian zoo staff to focus on the immediate situation during the war, they are being assisted by zoos in other countries, who are helping evacuate endangered animals from war zones where possible and to collect donations.
Donations from people living in Estonia will be passed on in full to Ukrainian aquaria and zoos through European Association of Zoos and Aquaria rescue operation. Contributions can be made throughout the crisis, the Tallinn city government said in a statement.
“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine continues to inflict suffering on the people, but also on the voiceless victims of the war, the animals. Ukrainian zoos have no role in this conflict in the human world, yet they too are under attack in the war,” a representative of the city government noted.
Some Ukrainian zoos have suffered under missile attacks
Right at the beginning of the invasion, Feldman Ecopark in Kharkiv was hit by several projectiles. Subsequent missiles damaged various exhibits and some animals were wounded, some died and some escaped. At the Mykolaiv Zoo, bombs landed near the polar bear and tiger enclosures.
The Kyiv Zoo has managed to move some of the animals into shelters, and around 50 staff and their families have moved into the zoo to keep the stressed animals calm around the clock and not abandon them in the war. The zoo is also being helped by local residents, but Feldman Ecopark has already reported the shooting of two volunteers, who came to feed the animals, by Russian soldiers.
“Under the bombardment, no zoo has time to coordinate fundraising alongside survival and calming terrified animals. Although help is needed in this humanitarian disaster everywhere, as a member of the European Association of Aquaria and Zoos, Tallinn Zoo stands with other zoos to help Ukrainian zoo workers and the stressed animals under their care,” Tiit Maran, the director of Tallinn Zoo, said.
Donations for Ukrainian zoos can be made via Tallinn Zoo on the Tallinn city e-services page and the donations will be passed on in full to the Ukrainian zoos.
Tallinn Zoo, founded in 1939, is the only zoo in Estonia. It houses over 13,000 animals, representing over 500 species.