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LAEO & Lionel De Lange are trying to save the Ukraine Zoo animals from starving. We need your help.


Ukrainian Zoo Rescue

My name is Lionel de Lange, and I am a South African ex-pat now living in Ukraine. I opened a chapter of the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO) because of the work the late Lawrence Anthony did in Iraq, when he saved the starving animals that were affected by the war. His passion for animals and all things living inspired me to step up at this desperate time.

In March 2014 Ukraine’s zoo’s were in serious trouble with animals on the brink of starvation. So far we were able to raise funds to supply 16 tons of food and medical supplies for various zoos. I do not condone zoo’s but cannot stand by and let these animals suffer, humans have put them in cages now we need to make sure they are treated humanely and live their days out in comfort.

“As individuals we are responsible for more than just our selves, our family, our football team or country, or our own kind. There is more to life than just these things. That we must each one of us also bring the natural world back into proper perspective in our lives, and realize that doing so is not some lofty ideal, but a vital part of our personal survival.”- Lawrence Anthony

The conditions for some of these animals is shocking and there is no funding allocated to some zoo’s whatsoever and funding to all zoo’s around the country has been cut by the government. Apart from the assistance we are providing to zoo’s around the country we have started work on a project in the city of Kherson, Ukraine. The “zoo” is situated on an island on the Dnieper river. This is an ex-privately owned zoo where the animals are living in horrendous inhumane conditions. There are 5 Brown bears living in a combined area of 42 sq/m. There is no other word to describe it, “A prison” made completely of steel and metal bars which includes a steel floor.

Temperatures drop to -25C in winter (excluding wind chill factor) and I am sure you can imagine how cold these cages get. The bears are divided into 2 enclosures. The adult male, 24 years plus has lived in his 3m x 6m steel cage since before the fall of the Soviet Union. The 2 adult females and their cubs share an enclosure of 4m x 6m. They will soon outgrow the area. We also have a family of 8 wolves that share to areas of 2.5m x 2.5m. These are just some of the 200 animals at this zoo. None of these animals have ever set foot on natural ground.

We wish to create a sanctuary for these animals where they can live in humane conditions and experience some quality of life while helping educate the public on how to better live side by side with all life on earth. We plan to refurbish and increase the size of the bear enclosure to 300sq/m so these magnificent animals can at least get around outside of their cages and even have a pool in which to swim, something they have never done before.

The wolf enclosure will also be increased substantially giving them opportunity to venture out of their tiny enclosures so they can at least run around and experience some quality of life. We have made a commitment to the local council that we will take care of these animals until the council can afford to take over. Donations from the public will guarantee a safe, humane and happier future for these animals and set an example for better practices in other parts of the world.

Our WISH list:

We need a minimum of $40,000 to refurbish existing enclosures and to make the enclosures larger as well as secure enough to hold a 500kg brown bear. One of the negative factors contributing to the price is the location of the zoo. It’s on an island which is not accessible by motor-vehicle. It can only be accessed by foot traffic or small boat so all materials need to be carried, dragged or pushed to the construction site which is at least 600m from the delivery area. Smaller items can be taken by boat. The only size vehicle that would fit on the bridge would be a diesel powered golf cart but there’s no cash for that. The area is really beautiful, but very bad Soviet era design where no consideration to the animals comfort was given. The urgency is that we have to complete construction before winter sets in. It is however a popular tourist attraction which we hope to utilize for educating children to raise their respect and understanding of all life on earth.

We need your HELP! Have a look at our fantastic PERKS!

$10 E-mail Certificate & Thank you

$25 E-mailed Certificate & photo of bear/wolf

$50 Bangle, adoption certificate and photo of bear/wolf

$100 T-shirt and beanie

$250 T-shirt and beanie and 5 minute skype call with Lionel

$500 T-shirt & beanie, plaque with your name on and a 5 minute skype call with Lionel

The funds will be used to do as much refurbishment as possible and make sure Ukraine zoo animals in need are fed during the extreme winter months.

As the late Dr Anthony said, “We must each one of us also bring the natural world back into proper perspective in our lives, and realize that doing so is not some lofty ideal, but a vital part of our personal survival.”

Man has got to take responsibility for the condition we have kept our animals in and every improvement counts

LAEO have had many successful animal rescue projects:

·  Dr Anthony’s rescue of the Baghdad zoo in 2004

·  Built and maintained 3 animal reserves in South Africa and was the first to initiate EcoTourism to redirect ‘poaching economies’ to ‘education and conservation’ economies.

. We also received funding from Four Paws to build the first rhino orphanage in Zululand, to care for injured and orphaned rhino impacted by poaching

·  LAEO Ukraine has been successfully feeding captive animals in Ukraine since March 2014 which shows video’s and articles listing our achievements.

Risks & Challenges:

One of our biggest concerns is the fact that we only have about two more months before Ukraine’s severe winter begins to set in.  At that point, it will be too cold to do anything but ensure the animals have food.  In the summer, other UKrainian zoo’s can support themselves partially through ticket sales, but that stops during the winter and, at this point, we don’t have the funds to feed the animals through the winter. Kherson Zoo however has no tickets sales at all and no funding from local or national government.

We have thus far kept the animals fed and will not stop now, we do however need to drastically improve the conditions of these animals.

You Can Help Give These Animals A Voice:

You’re on this page because you care deeply about animals, and you feel that more needs to be done.  We ask for your support, and this is your chance to help us to create change in this dire situation, through education, awareness and various measures.

Other Ways You Can Help:

Even if you’re not in a position to contribute funds, please share this page and spread the word.

There are a number of ways you can get involved and if you’re visiting us, you’re already on your way to creating change, but if you want be more than an onlooker check out our fabulous perks.

If you can’t donate financially that doesn’t mean you can’t help – Share this with your friends on Social Media…..SHOUT it from the rooftops….

Please share this campaign with the links on this page, and let everyone know that you do not stand for animal abuse, and like us, you will no longer stand idly by as these horrific stories continue to mount. Together WE can make a difference.