After a river burst its bank and swamped the enclosures at a zoo in Ussuriysk, Russia, volunteers started a mission to save the animals stuck in the affected area. Unfortunately, it was believed that many of the animals who were all kept in Zelyony Ostrov Park Zoo already perished. Desperate brown bears could be seen climbing to the top of their cages in an effort to escape the rising water, a heartbreaking moment captured in photos.
Some images showed rescue workers in boats as they attempted to feed the wet, cold, and trapped creatures with sugar and bread wedged on a stick and shoved through the bars of their cages.
The whole disaster started when a river in the far-eastern city of Ussuriysk burst its banks, causing the private zoo to be hit with rising flood waters.
All fourteen of the bears were suffering from lack of sleep and cold, according to a bear trainer who checked on their condition
To keep the bears’ heads above the muddy water, they were forced to stand on their hind legs and cling on the bars with their front paws
Pictured above, a volunteer provided aid to rescue the animals. At the time, one bear had already given up
The trapped animals have been deprived of sleep since the flood swept the private zoo, which posed fear for their health and safety
While many were forced to stand upright for hours on end just to keep their heads above the murky water, several animals have already drowned in their cages. The city’s mascot, a female bear named Masyanya; a lynx; and a wolf have all drowned in their cages.
The newspaper reported that some wolves, a deer, and a boar have been rescued, but goats are believed to have drowned too. On one hand, a lion remains trapped in its half-submerged cage, along with 14 other brown bears.
“The animals could [have been] evacuated, their cages have wheels. I was calling the owner of the zoo, I was begging him to help, but no one listened. I wanted to get Masyanya bear out of her cage, she could have been saved, but they didn’t let me,” Vera Blishch, bear trainer, shared in an interview after he checked the condition of the animals using a boat. The bear trainer added that the animals were suffering from exhaustion and cold.
A RIA Novosti news agency report showed volunteers gathering medicine and food for the survivors. They were kept in their cages until the following morning.
Although rescue workers have been feeding the fourteen brown bears with sugar and bread to keep them alive, the animals are still in danger because they are weakening
A caged, soaked wolf was captured assessing the damage done by the flood water
During a boat tour around the flooded area, bear tamer Vera Blishch, was interviewed by a Russian TV Channel crew
Different sources claimed that the reason some of the bears could not be saved was either because the cages were sealed or because the keys were lost in the flood. The deluge of dirty river water, which swept through the private zoo, was believed to have been caused by Typhoon Goni.