A zoo employee evacuated Ukraine’s solely household of tapirs, a uncommon mammal that has lived on Earth for 20 million years, from the devastated metropolis of Kharkiv on Saturday.
The Feldman Ecopark zoo shared a video of the rescue on Facebook, taken by the employee who drove the animals out of the town. From the motive force’s seat of his van, the person grinned whereas updating neighborhood members on the rescue, earlier than panning to indicate the three tapirs on a mattress of hay behind him. The video was later reposted on Twitter, the place it has been seen 1.2 million occasions.
“The rescue operation was very sophisticated,” Yana Gaidai of Feldman Ecopark instructed Newsweek. “We found a cargo van and made [it] bulletproof with hard armor plates. Our brave volunteers transfer animals along country roads to bypass military checkpoints.”
Like most of Kharkiv, the zoo has sustained heavy bombing and shelling because the first day of Russia’s invasion on February 24. Kharkiv was the second-most populous metropolis in Ukraine and residential to almost 1.5 million folks earlier than the struggle started. Other than the besieged southern port of Mariupol, no different metropolis has suffered worse bombardment from Russian forces.
Three employees members on the zoo have been killed and dozens have been wounded whereas attempting to feed their animals, Gaidai stated. Almost 100 animals have additionally been killed.
Feldman Ecopark first appealed for assist with the tapirs on March 27. In a Facebook put up, the zoo requested neighborhood members who cared for the “only tapir family in Ukraine that has a cub” to ship donations for evacuating, feeding and briefly housing the animals.
On Saturday, the zoo stated many individuals had written to inquire in regards to the destiny of the tapir household. “We answer everyone,” stated the Facebook replace. “Dalma, Pinto and Dolly were taken out of the danger zone and sent to the Poltava region, where a temporary home was prepared for them.”
Gaidai added that the tapirs took the transfer nicely and are settling into their new dwelling. Volunteers have introduced them fruits, grain, greens and hay.
The similar zoo employee who drove the tapirs out of Kharkiv beforehand evacuated a number of kangaroos in his van, Newsweek reported.
On Twitter, viewers from internationally left him phrases of admiration.
“Oh what a beautifully kind and loving human saving precious animals,” wrote a person who glided by @judyp01397197. “Beautiful souls sharing their humanity.”
“Another selfless hero with compassion and humility in Ukraine,” added one other with the username @DaubeGraeme.