Animals at Ukraine's oldest zoo will be sadly euthanised after Russian missile attacks destroyed enclosures.
Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, has been badly hit by enemy forces as it sits just 64 kilometres from the Russian border.
The zoo is located on the northern fringe of the city, even closer to Russia.
MP and founder of the ecopark in Kharkviv, Oleksandr Feldman, said there is no way of rescuing them from the ruined zoo grounds.
As a result, the large animals will be put down as there is no way of rescuing them after damage to the zoo.
MP Oleksandr Feldman said that #Russian troops have almost completely destroyed the ecopark in #Kharkiv— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 5, 2022
Today by the end of the day a decision will be made to put the tigers and lions down, because their enclosures have been destroyed. pic.twitter.com/aA98KFejhC
"There is no more Ecopark," Feldman said.
"After yesterday's shelling, I can say that the park has been almost completely destroyed.
"Animal cages have been destroyed, all the infrastructure has been destroyed, but tigers and lions have miraculously survived.
"Their cages have been badly damaged, and they can go outside at any moment."
He described the bear enclosure as being in a dreadful condition, with keepers forced to 'kill them, put them to sleep or move them'.
"The building where the bears live is in terrible condition. Today we will have to make a decision. We have until the evening to decide either to kill each one, put them to sleep, or to move them," Feldman said.
The zoo boss revealed they would aim to save some of the younger big cats, but all adult animals 'are likely to be put down' as they could not be rescued or re-homed.
The heartbreaking decision to destroy the animals comes one month after Kyiv zookeepers formed a modern day Noah's Ark to flee the invasion.
The animals came from a rescue shelter in the capital Kyiv and they have safely arrived in Poland following a harrowing six-day trek.
At one point during their journey the animal convoy was surrounded by a fleet of Russian tanks.
Staff at Poznan Zoo in Poland said they had 'lost hope' for the animals, but the convoy of creatures finally arrived after losing contact with the Ukrainian keepers.
Six lions, six tigers and two caracals were rescued.
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Featured Image Credit: Plamen Nikolov / Alamy Stock Photo. Twitter/ Subodh Kumar.
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