Russian soldiers stand accused of murdering two Ukrainian zoo workers and hiding their bodies in a back room.
Back on March 7, two Feldman Ecopark staffers were reported missing following Russia’s invasion of Kharkiv and the rest of eastern Ukraine.
While it was initially suspected that the two workers fled the zoo to escape war, their colleagues have now found their bodies barricaded away in a back room at the park.
The grim discovery was made more than a month after zookeepers returned to the zoo to evacuate the animals. During the evacuations, the two workers who suffered gunshot wounds were not spotted by anyone.
Feldman Ecopark faced constant danger ever since late February when Putin invaded Ukraine. Since then, heavy shelling rocked the city of Kharkiv, causing problems with evacuations at the zoo.
Earlier this month, the park went viral after suggesting they might be forced to euthanize big predators to prevent them from running away should their enclosures be destroyed.
“The infrastructure is down, the enclosures are down. The biggest problem is big predators,” they wrote on April 5.
“Their enclosures still miraculously maintain integrity, but one more shelling – and the lions, tigers, bears, may end up on the will and go towards Kharkov or to nearby villages. We just can’t allow this.”
Fortunately, however, the zoo confirmed that some animals have been relocated just days later.
Now, more bad news rocked the zoo as the deaths of two staff members were confirmed.
“War brings bad news. We have received confirmation that two of our employees who went missing in early March have died,” Feldman Ecopark revealed.
“When the war started, they stayed in the Ecopark and helped to feed the animals. We arrived at the Ecopark on March 7 and did not find them there.
“We searched for them for a long time, hooked up law enforcement officers. Until the last, we had been hoping that nothing irremediable had happened, and they were able to survive.”
The zoo added: “But yesterday we received confirmation that their bodies had been found. Our guys were shot by the enemies, and their bodies had been barricaded in the back room.
“We’ll cherish the blessed memory of these wonderful and courageous people. Sincere condolences to their families and friends. We believe that inhumans who have committed this will definitely be punished!”
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