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Zoo animals trapped in cages by flooding in Ussuriysk

By The Siberian Times reporter
31 August 2015

Bear and goats among drowned animals at two zoos after typhoon and heavy rain hits Russian Far East.

Animals were 'crying and begging for help'. Picture: Social media

Animals are trapped in their cages - 'crying for help' - unable to flee the rising floodwater, say workers at  Sapsan Zoo on Zelyonyi Island. Anastassia Kaydalova, a zoo employee, said: 'One of our bears drowned. The youngest of our bears, the female one.

'Deer have been moved, half of the wolves have been moved, goats drowned. Two of our boars are also alive, none of them died.' Animals were 'crying and begging for help', she said. 

Vladimir Vaganov, director of the zoo, said: 'It is currently impossible to move them. First of all, in some places water is three metres deep. That is no vehicle, no car will be able to get there. 

'The bears are now agitated so a tranquillizer won't help. The doors to the cage are underwater. Even if we open them, even if we manage to put them asleep, how will we move a 300-350kg bear?'

Flooded zoo in Ussuriysk

Flooded zoo

Flooded zoo

Anastasia Kaigorodova

Anastassia Kaydalova, a zoo employee, said: 'One of our bears drowned. The youngest of our bears, the female one. Pictures: social media, Telemix

Local TV channel, Telemix, reported: 'Some of the animals, not dangerous, were set free. There is a couple of deer and raccoons walking around. One of the current issues is saving the bears.'

Putting them down has been discussed but this would be a final option. Desperate efforts are underway to save the animals, many believed to be 'retired' circus performers. 

The youngest bear, Masyanya, drowned because zoo workers failed to 'relocate' her to a new cage on ground furthest above the floodwater.

Volunteer Milana Mustafayeva said: 'Currently, 14 bears, 3 wolves and a lion are alive. It's necessary to either evacuate them or to feed them in their cages. There also are some small animals. There is about 50 volunteers on the site...

'Everyone is trying to do something, feeding the animals. But we need motor boats. We need cages and large aviaries for bears. We have thee boats but it's not enough.'

Flooded zoo

Flooded zoo

Flooded zoo

Vladimir Vaganov, director of the zoo, said: 'It is currently impossible to move them. First of all, in some places water is three metres deep. That is no vehicle, no car will be able to get there.' Pictures: social media, Telemix

Anna Pavlova, head of charity 'Save a life', added: 'The situation that happened in the zoo is a pain for entire city and not only the city. There is a lot of people ready to help in social networks. 

'We didn't sleep until 3am this morning, we were around the zoo, looking at the water, listening to every sound. Time will show who was guilty. But the animals shouldn't be suffering. The owner of the zoo should have done everything necessary to save the animals - but he didn't.'

Yana Salmina, animal rights activist, said: 'It was raining all day yesterday. We offered the director of the zoo assistance to evacuate the animals, but he said he didn't need help. 

'Later we found out that a female bear drowned. It is terrible to let animals locked up in their cages to die. Today I contacted the director of the zoo again but he again refused to accept any help.' 

Flooded zoo

Flooded zoo

Flooded zoo

Flooded zoo in Borissovka village, where 27 animals died.  Pictures: Yekaterina Zotova

At another zoo in Borissovka, 27 animals including a deer, raccoon, 6 rabbits, 2 Guinea pigs, and all the parrots drowned in the zoo on the night of 29-30 August. Yekaterina Zotova, owner of the zoo, said: 'From 8pm until midnight on the night of Saturday-Sunday, ostriches, bears and wolves were going crazy in their cages.

'There were 98 animals and birds in the zoo, and after the flood only 71 of them survived. My husband and I haven't been sleeping for the last three days. We need wood and other construction materials to reinforce the cages. We hired a bulldozer to dig a drain but we don't have enough funds to revamp the zoo. 

'It is now obvious we won't open very soon. The biggest problem is vaccinating the animals again after this. All of them suffered from water, caught colds and will be ill for some time. We need funds to treat them.'  

Ussuryisk was hit by the recent Typhoon Goni.

Comments (11)

next time this happens contact four paws charity or the like to help!!! oh and where is your contingency plans in regards to health and safety of these animals. if you cant do the basics don't have the animals!!!
nicola, uk
11/09/2019 13:19
Despicable Human Beings for putting these animals in such conditions! Humans are the the worst animals on earth.
Eddie, Mclean YSA
11/12/2016 08:43
16/11/2015 07:30
05/09/2015 19:07
Shut this horrific zoo down! Animals in tiny cages isn't a zoo but a prison! Animals kept like this is inhumane and the owner should be brought u on criminal charges of animal abuse, neglect and negligence! This zoo needs to be shut down immediately, the owner charged with fines and possible jail time and banned for life from ever being able to acquire wildlife again! Animals need to be moved to a sanctuary!
Sarah, San Francisco
05/09/2015 04:14
Please please help these animals,this is tragic to think they are drowning in cages, this is so horrific. I pray that they get help soon. This zoo had got to he closed down knowing this could happen again. Don't let anymore die from drowning a horrible death.
valerie, gravesend, kent, england
03/09/2015 18:35
CLOSE DOWN THE CRUEL SAPSAN ZOO FOREVER. The owner of this zoo is not fit to care for animals AND in such small cages too ! it's torture, it's cruel and if we all unite , we can encourage tourists not to go to this " living hell " of a zoo.
Susan Scott, Australia
03/09/2015 06:39
This is so cruel, people and authorities should be responsible enough of these animals and take some actions!
02/09/2015 03:53
I agree with Jaycee comments.How is the weather now in Siberia far east? This situation is very terrible, animals give their trust to the Human . Thanks to do the best for these animals, please.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
01/09/2015 13:51
The photo with the bird peering into the camera speaks a thousand words. I realize these are disastrous times for the local population and a human life is worth more than an animal's but I hope that when this is over the people in charge can truthfully say that under the circumstances they had done the best they could to save the animals.
jaycee, South Africa
01/09/2015 13:19
You let the animals out. Let them go, don't keep them in the cage.. let them out
Grant Hibbs, DELTA BC
31/08/2015 22:07

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