Ukrainian citizen Lionel de Lange is waging a battle for the animals of Ukraine -- and things aren't looking so good, since funding from the government is fast running out. His first target -- the 114-year-old Nikolaev Zoo in the southern port city of Mykolayiv, which houses 5,735 animals.
"At the Nikolaev Zoo, these thousands of animals are on the brink," de Lange told Environmental News Service. "There is only enough food left for the carnivores to eat today and tomorrow. The herbivores have enough to last one more week. Medical supplies have run out. These animals need our help right now."
At a loss, de Lange contacted the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) of California, which quickly launched a fundraising campaign to supply food for the starving animals. De Lange is now head of the Ukrainian Chapter of LAEO. The zoo is sustaining itself -- for now.
"Just in the past couple of days since we began getting the word out to our members and supporters, people are beginning to step up and donate to ensure none of these animals unnecessarily suffer or perish," said LAEO's International President Barbara Wiseman. "We have to cover their immediate needs and get some breathing room here so that we can then help zoo facilities implement self-sustaining longer-term solutions."