Ukrainian zoo staff refuse to abandon animals

STORY: “It is scary, very scary. I'm scared for myself, my children, and grandchildren. One can’t describe it. Well, you won’t leave animals behind, and we can’t leave either. If we all leave, then who will look after them and take care of them. We grew up with them. I am myself a rural girl, I grew up and will not betray them. Whatever will happen to us, will happen. Perhaps, the war will go away,” said zoo carer Victorai Tsuskho.

A key stepping-stone for Russian forces on the way to Odessa, the city of Mykolaiv has recently come under rocket attacks.

Parts of exploded rockets were visible on the historic zoo grounds.

“We are in the zoo museum where we keep all the documents. Here is the rocket here which is also a document. It flew to us on February 28, at the very start of the war,” said zoo director Vladimir Topchy.

The zoo houses dozens of rare species of animals including five big cats.

The Mykolaiv zoo was founded in 1901 and is considered to be one of the best in Ukraine and in Europe.