Russian attacks in Ukraine close Kyiv Zoo; some animals evacuated to Poland

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March 2 (UPI) — The main zoo in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has closed due to the invasion by Russian military forces, but zookeepers say they are still taking care of the animals there.

The Kyiv Zoo said on Facebook that it closed last week after Russian troops crossed the borders into Ukraine.

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The zoo is one of the largest in the area of the former Soviet Union and is the only large zoo in the Kyiv area. It employs hundreds of workers and cares for thousands of animals.

“The war is causing terrible stress for the animals, so some of them have been moved to indoor enclosures and underground galleries,” Kyiv Zoo CEO Kyrylo Trantin said in a Facebook post. “Veterinarians monitor their emotional state and, if necessary, provide a sedative.”

“The care of the animals does not stop — the zoo staff is on places 24 hours a day,” the zoo added in an update earlier this week. “Animals are frightened by the loud sounds of explosions, but our veterinarians are constantly monitoring their condition.”

Newsweek reported that some animals from a different zoo, the Save Wild animal sanctuary near Kyiv, have been evacuated and are headed for a sanctuary in Poland. The sanctuary, Zoo Poznan, said on its Facebook page that the animals were passing through Ukraine and “crossing roads to pass areas of intensive bombing and firing.”

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The Kyiv Zoo also noted that two baby goats were born this week during the Russian military attempt to advance on Kyiv.

The zoo posted a video of the newborn goats on its Facebook page and said the animals were born Sunday after a very tense night that included loud explosions until the morning.

“Nature cannot be stopped — today two little goats were born in Kyiv Zoo,” the zoo said in a Facebook post.