(ANIMAL WELFARE/ZOOS) UKRAINE — In the wake of the country’s political turmoil, people around the world are coming together to help save the animals at the Kharkiv Zoo.

The Ukrainian government began cutting off the facility’s funding in January, leaving the animals to die of starvation. Now, the wildlife park has announced they will not have the funds to properly feed the animals past the weekend.

Ibex eating the food donated to him. Photo Credit: Facebook.com
Photo Credit: Facebook

The zoo posted the following statement on their website on March 6, 2014:

“Our animals are not fighting for power, they do not share anyone’s political views, they just want to live.”

“Without emergency measures, our completely innocent animals will start dying next week.”

Donate money to help save the animals at the Kharkiv Zoo. Photo Credit: Facebook.com
Photo Credit: Facebook

The Kharkiv Zoo Friends Facebook page, created by an American woman living in Ukraine, is acting as a go-between for Ukrainian and English speakers looking to help save the zoo’s animals. The Facebook page has been instrumental in updating the world on the zoo’s progress.

After the devastating news first began to spread, people all over Kharkiv donated to help save the animals. Shortly after the outpouring of love, the Facebook page posted the following statement:

“First, good news: THE ANIMALS ARE OKAY for now. We just got back from the zoo- literally the entire city had brought bags and bags of food to donate: cabbage, bread, carrots, beets, greens, you name it! The zoo staff was using tractors to haul the food around. We spoke to the zoo director and she said they’d also received some cash donations.”

Hundreds of people came out to donate food for the starving animals. Photo Credit: Facebook.com
Hundreds of people came out to donate food for the starving zoo animals. Photo Credit: Facebook

“About the zoo- they don’t have paypal, they have a Ukrainian bank account. We did sit down and talk to the director and she said they are still looking for help, but because of the massive turnout today, it’s not as urgently needed as before. Kate Woolf kindly started a page to accept donations… let me get in touch with her to see how it will work in terms of actually getting the money to Kharkov.”

People donated so much food this past weekend that zoo needed tractors to haul the food around. Photo Credit: Facebook.com
People donated so much food this past weekend that the zoo needed tractors to haul the food around. Photo Credit: Facebook.com

Because the zoo still does not have a PayPal account, Kate Woolf, founder of the Lotus Elephant Sanctuary, started a fundraiser campaign through the website Gofundme.com, which makes it easier to transfer funds to the Kharkiv Zoo.

Tomorrow, March 12 will be the last day for collecting donations for the zoo via this GoFundMe account.

Take ActionDonate to the Kharkiv Zoo Food Fund

— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal

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