How Putin Caused A Lion To Maul One Man In An Abandoned Ukraine Zoo
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How Putin Caused A Lion To Maul One Man In An Abandoned Ukraine Zoo

No, Vladimir Putin didn't feed a man to lions or anything overly evil like that. But the Russian leader did cause one zoo volunteer to lose his life to a lion at an abandoned Ukraine zoo.

It's all to do with the War in Ukraine. A zoo found themselves in the middle of a warzone with brave zookeepers and volunteers risking their own lives for the animals in their care. A small number of zoo staff stayed in the sieged area of Kharkiv to take care of the animals at the Feldman Ecopark.

Filmmaker Joshua Zeman chronicled their journey in his documentary Checkpoint Zoo. The zoo staff did their best to evacuate 5,000 animals while trying to keep them fed. That includes dangerous predators like lions.

Zeldman said of the staff via Yahoo, "We're always drawn to those moments where we're so wrapped up being human and all its foibles and here we have an opportunity to step back and look at ourselves through the animals' eyes. Hopefully that gives us a better perspective of how we're treating each other. We don't talk that much about animals in war. Though that's changing as we have more conflicts, more climate change. Like [Hurricane] Katrina, when they were trying to save all these elderly people and they refused to leave without their cats and dogs. By talking about animals, it's a much richer subject and you can actually bring out more humanity. I've learned more about humanity from animals than from other people."

Volunteer Mauled By Lion

So where do the lions come into play? Well several zoo keepers and volunteers lost their lives protecting the zoo. Two zoo keepers were shot and killed in a barn trying to carry carrots and dog food. The rabbit exhibit was turned into a shooting range with Russians killing all of the animals. A volunteer tried to feed the lions, but the scared animal mauled him after the sounds of bombs dropping scared it. The volunteer died before help arrived.

Still volunteers continued to care for the lions and other animals.

"When these kids went in to save these animals, people were asking, 'How can you risk your life for an animal?' What I found fascinating is that some people would ask that question and other people would answer, 'How could you not? Who's going to fight for them?'" Zeman observed. "It's not a zero-sum game in terms of lives. You can't prioritize one over the other. [Human lives having more value than animal lives] is unfortunately a very old way of thinking."