DENVER (KDVR) — Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, multiple people and companies across the U.S. have stepped up to help Ukrainians. That list now includes the Denver Zoo which has raised thousands of dollars to protect the animals in zoos.
Back in March, the Denver Zoo created a Wildlife Emergency Fund to assist zoos in Kyiv, Cherkassy and Odessa.
The zoo has received over 865 individual donations and distributed $50,000 to the three Ukrainian organizations. The funds will help staff continue to care for the animals who are living under dangerous and stressful conditions.
“If there was no support of friends who send us money, it would be very, very difficult to buy the fruits and vegetables we buy for our primates every day,” said Kyiv Zoo Director Kyrylo Trantin in a video statement shared with Denver Zoo. “Our main goal is to make sure that our animals do not feel that something is wrong behind the fence. They must eat well, we must serve them very well and give them our love and respect.”
The Denver Zoo isn’t done yet. They are continuing to accept donations and will send more funds to the three organizations as well as other potential zoos.
“We’ve all watched in horror as this crisis has unfolded in Ukraine, and our hearts go out to the Ukrainian people who have shown incredible bravery and resilience,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of Denver Zoo and a council member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “Our community is so compassionate and caring, not only for Denver Zoo, but for other wildlife and conservation causes around the world. I’m inspired—but not surprised—to see such an outpouring of support for our friends in Ukraine.”
According to the Denver Zoo, staff has been monitoring the situation in Ukraine closely and stayed in touch with their zoo leaders to ensure the proper assistance will reach the animals. The funds were also received with assistance from the Ukrainians of Colorado organization.
Anyone who wishes to help the Denver Zoo in its mission to respond to wildlife emergencies around the world can donate to the Ukrainian zoos through their Wildlife Emergency Fund.