Dogs, cats, chickens, horses, but also camels and ostriches. Hundreds of animals have been rescued since the beginning of the war in Ukraine by volunteers from the UAnimals association. “Two days ago we evacuated three lions from the ecological park of Kharkiv. Now they are in Kiev, but soon we will transport them to Ponzan, Poland”, tells Adnkronos Olga Chevhaniuk, one of the founders of the animal rights association, engaged since 2016 in the defense of animals, through the promotion of laws against abuse, in particular to prohibit the activity of circuses and the use of natural fur. Since last February 24 when Russia invaded Ukraine, however, “our business – says Olga – has drastically changed: our main goal is not to let animals die of hunger in all regions of the country, especially those in which there are ongoing fights. For this we provide the structures that need it with economic aid or, if it is not possible to send money, directly feed, medicines and cages “. To the call center of the association, which has a network of one hundred volunteers spread over all regions of Ukraine, “requests for help are constantly coming in”, Chevhaniuk continues. According to her, the number of animals injured or dead since the beginning of the war “is incalculable. We can only take into consideration the cases we are certain of, such as that of a farm near Kiev where three hundred dead horses were found”. To kill animals during the conflict – reports the founder of UAnimals – are not only the bombings and the lack of care and food, but also targeted attacks against them by the Russian occupiers: “There are many episodes of this type, from shootings inside the shelters, up to cases in which they attacked the hens by the throat with pliers and those in which they ate the dogs “. Since the beginning of the conflict as UAnimals “we have evacuated almost 250 animals, but an estimate is impossible to do, because all the cases of people who call our call center, to which we directly provide the contact of volunteers or drivers, should also be added. willing to help them “. The evacuated animals are both domestic animals, primarily cats and dogs, and those rescued from farms, zoos and ecological parks. They are taken to other safer regions of Ukraine or abroad. The last intervention was at the Feldman zoo in Kharkiv, where in addition to the three lions already evacuated, there are – according to the animal welfare organization “in poor condition” – specimens of baboons, bears, llamas, zebras, ostriches, hyenas, parrots and many other exotic species.
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