Feldman Ecopark’s staff and volunteers came under Russian fire during an effort to evacuate animals from the site on Thursday, May 5. A teenager, 15, was killed by shelling, while his parents were seriously injuring.
Oleksandr Feldman, Ukrainian MP, who is a founder of Ecopark, broke the news on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.
“Today, the sixth volunteer has died during the final stage of an attempted evacuation of African buffaloes. This was a boy born in 2008. The people who were with him are seriously injured, surgeries are now underway, so doctors are fighting for the lives of each one of them,” Feldman said.
The perished boy used to help his parents feed and then take the animals out of the destroyed park.
MP Oleksandr Feldman added that two Russian soldiers were brought to the hospital together with the wounded.
“Two Russian soldiers were brought simultaneously with them (volunteers and staff – ed.). It remains unclear how they got to the park in the first place. They destroyed all the vehicles in which the guys arrived,” said the park’s founder.
As Ukrinform reported, Russian troops almost completely destroyed the Feldman Ecopark, located to the northeast of Kharkiv, in Derhachiv district. The facility has been in the line of fire since day 1 of the invasion. Some animals fled after their enclosures were destroyed. Many animals, including the offspring of white tigers, panthers, and jaguars died.
During shelling, three employees of the Ecopark, who came to feed the animals, were killed. On April 19, the bodies of two other employees shot dead by Russian soldiers in early March were found on the park’s premises.
Animals are being transported under fire to safer locations in other Ukrainian cities.
A white tiger was evacuated on April 24, while a Himalayan bear was transported out of the park on April 29.