Over the weekend, an official from Kharkiv Zoo in Ukraine released a dire warning that the animals in his zoo -- elephants, tigers, lions and others -- would die, because unstable politics had cut off the facilities' funding, and they only had enough food to last til Monday. Alexey Grigoriev, the zoo's director, was said to be in tears over the situation, and pleading with the country's prime minister for help.
"Our animals are not fighting for power, they do not share anyone's political views, they just want to live,' read a statement by the zoo. "Without emergency measures, our completely innocent animals will start dying next week."
But thanks to an outpouring of support from local citizens, the animals in the zoo are doing all right -- at least for now. An American woman living in Kharkiv set up a Facebook page, Friends of Kharkiv Zoo, to act as a go-between for Ukrainians and English-speakers:
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. She said what really matters is what happens after this.