A family of wolves also experienced a similar dramatic transformation of their cramped and dreadful cage. There are over 200 animals at the Kherson Zoo, located on an island, so the work of de Lange, his army of volunteers, and the city has been an uphill battle.
"We started building in October 2014 and completed the wolf enclosure first as we needed to reunite the adults with their cubs," de Lange said, according to a release issued by LAEO. "In November we started the bear foundations. It was not easy as the weather was against us. We got down to -18 degrees Celsius [-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit] at one stage, snowstorms, ice and rain. Because the zoo is on an island in the middle of the Dnieper River, which has no road access, we had to have most materials delivered by river barge."
This is not the first time locals have united to save zoo animals in Ukraine as the country resists a Russian invasion. Last spring, when news broke that the Kharkiv Zoo faced starvation, locals flooded the zoo with donated produce.