April 15, 2022
Silent hostages of the prevailing conditions
Since the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine, animals abandoned by their owners and living in zoos on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics have been in distress and need humanitarian assistance. That is why on March 31, 2022, the "ZooDrug" campaign was launched, initiated by the head of the Commission on Ecology and the Environment of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Elena Sharoikina. As part of this campaign, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation together with the project "Take a friend from the shelter" organized the collection of necessary animal and bird feed, veterinary preparators, household and disinfectants and other materials. Employees of zoos and shelters need humanitarian support in order to preserve the lives and health of tens of thousands of animals, among which there are red Books.
For example, 11 red Book mouflons are kept in the Gorlovka Zoo. The campaign to support shelters and zoos in Donbass and Ukraine is carried out in close cooperation with representatives of the leadership of the relevant departments of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics and Public Chambers of the regions. To date, the organizing committee of the campaign maintains contact with four zoos and several dozen shelters. According to preliminary data, 22342 animals need support in the territory of the DPR, and 3511 in the LPR. You need to understand that this is the number of animals living in zoos and shelters, and it is difficult to imagine how many frightened animals are hiding in corners.
By April 3, the campaign had collected 466 kilograms of humanitarian aid at the reception point. On April 5, the first cargo has already been sent, the contents of which will be able to be received by people who arrived with their pets at refugee reception points in Vladimir. The next batch will be sent in the near future to the reception points for refugees in Ulyanovsk. It is planned to evacuate the animals and their further placement. When it becomes possible to move safely, cargo is planned to be sent to the cities of Ukraine.
In addition to organizing the campaign, Elena Sharoikina appealed to the President of the Union of Zoos and Aquariums of Russia Svetlana Akulova with a proposal to provide all possible assistance to the zoos of Donbass and Ukraine, as well as assistance in the evacuation of animals. The answer was positive: SOZAR responded with readiness to place evacuated animals in zoos in Russia. The Union of Zoos and Aquariums of Russia has joined the collection of aid and is holding the #MYPLACE campaign.
By providing minimal assistance and showing participation, you personally, without exaggeration, can save a life. Bearing responsibility for our smaller brothers in zoos and shelters of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, volunteers and employees support the work of their organizations, not leaving to the mercy of fate those who cannot cope without a person. In this difficult time for everyone, every life is priceless and the life of every animal matters. Now is the very moment when everyone needs to join forces and provide all possible assistance.
An example of united efforts for a good cause was the organizing committee of the ZooDrug project, which includes representatives of organizations that care about the fate of animals. "ZooDruga" was supported by the famous zoologist, professor and TV presenter Nikolay Drozdov, who was present at the official launch of the project. The world-famous saxophonist Veronika Kozhukharova also supported the campaign.
It would seem that the difficulties of animals are incommensurable with the human tragedy. However, to think like that is to show cowardice. It's time for humanity and cordiality, to support those who suffer from human actions.
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