Tallinn Zoo launches fundraising for Ukrainian zoos

Polar bears at Tallinn Zoo.
Polar bears at Tallinn Zoo. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Tallinn Zoo has joined a worldwide initiative to raise funds for Ukrainian zoos hit by the Russian invasion.

Tiit Maran, director of Tallinn Zoo, said: "Under 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."

"The zoo also calls on people in Estonia to support the animals and staff of Ukrainian zoos during the war disaster through Tallinn Zoo. People's donations will be passed on in full to the Ukrainian zoos and every contribution will be gratefully received," Maran went on, according to a Tallinn city government press release.

While local residents have been able to help zoos in Ukraine where possible, two people who had gone to help out at a zoo in the eastern city of Kharkiv were murdered by Russian soldiers, it is reported.

The same zoo had come under fire early on in the invasion also.

Subsequent missiles damaged various exhibits, as a result of which some animals were reportedly killed or injured, while some escaped.

Shells or other projectiles also landed close to the polar bear and tiger enclosures at the Mykolaiv Zoo, while Kyiv Zoo was able to relocate some of its animals into shelters, with around 50 staff and their families moving into the premises to provide round-the-clock attention for the animals.

Many zoos worldwide are joining Tallinn Zoo's example of collecting donations to help Ukrainian zoos and their animals; donations coming from Estonia will be passed on in full to Ukrainian aquaria and zoos through the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria's (EAZA) rescue operation.

Zoos in other countries are also helping to house those animals who have been successfully activated from conflict zones.

If you are resident in Estonia and would like to make a donation towards Ukrainian zoos, visit the City of Tallinn's e-services page here (link in Estonian, requires Estonian ID card, Mobile ID, SMART-ID or EU e-ID login).

Tallinn Zoo's website in English is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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