Yampil the bear has finally arrived at Five Sisters Zoo 1 2 in Scotland!

During the Kharkiv counteroffensive, Ukrainian troops liberated the settlements of Lyman and Yampil in Donetsk oblast, which had previously housed a private menagerie. The territory of Yampil was occupied only in April 2022. The animal farm owner was indifferent to the fate of the animals, and the staff lacked the courage to do something to save them 3. Unfortunately, almost all the animals died of hunger, thirst, shrapnel and bullet wounds, the invaders ate some. Miraculously, only one bear survived but received a concussion. A projectile hit the box next to him. Our fighters found him during a military sweep and did not know what and how to do with him, so they began to look for a way out of the situation through volunteers.

The Lutsk Zoo connected the military with volunteers, so the Wild Animals Rescue Center by Natalia Popova drove to place 4 under the financial support of the UAnimals.

They evacuated the bear to the Kyiv oblast. We adopted him 5 in our White rock Bear shelter for stabilization, and rehabilitation during the export documentation preparation period (because the rehabilitation of bears is our speciality). He lived with us for a couple of months and got veterinary treatment. For the first time, he went outside in a natural enclosure. At last, he was transferred to Poznan Zoo (Poland), then to Natuurhulpcentrum in Belgium and finally to Scotland 6.

We wish Yampil health and a happy life in a new place!

It turned out that Borya bear survived the war for the second time. The menagerie at the ostrich farm was destroyed during the first liberation of Yampil in 2014 7. A circus bear used to live on the farm.

July 2016 8. Photo credit: Depo.ua

August 2021 9. Photo credit: Vladislav Smirnov10

By 2013, more than a hundred ostriches were already kept on the farm, and the collection of animals could be the envy of individual zoos. At the same time, there were so many African birds that their meat could be tasted not only in a coffee shop on the farm but also purchased in some supermarkets in Donetsk. The fighting, which took place several kilometres from the farm, caused significant damage to the farm. Almost all ostriches died, and most other animals did not survive the war.
The only surviving large animal was the Asiatic black bear.
He got to the zoo from the circus, where he worked until the “animal pension”. Because of this, the huge bear is not afraid of people and even constantly begs them for sweets. According to farm employees, love for visitors even prevents the bear from falling into hibernation, because he knows that people are always a treat, and sleeping when they are trying to feed you deliciously is a real crime.
Now the farm is reassembling the collection of animals and restoring the ostrich population. But so far it is impossible to taste either ostrich meat or eggs, the volume of which exceeds a litre. There are still not enough birds.

Quote from the article “A weekend trip to Donetsk region: funny ostriches and a magical arboretum” dated July 9, 2016

The menagerie was rebuilt, the collection was replenished, and the events were repeated. Only this time with more brutality.

Will this lesson be learned? An open question.

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