UK & World News

  • 11 April 2014, 19:31

Crimea Lions Face Starvation Over Crisis

Fifty African lions are facing starvation after a safari park in Crimea had its bank account blocked.

The Taigan park has had its cash flow cut off as a result of the ongoing dispute between Ukraine and Russia over Crimea.

Like many Crimean citizens, the park's managers have been denied access to their Ukrainian bank accounts since Russia annexed the region.

The park's director Oleg Zubkov says finding food for the lions is the most pressing problem - as the large predators get through around half a tonne of meat every day.

He said: "There is only enough meat in the park for a few days. We will have to come up with something.

"It is impossible to explain to tigers that they have become victims of somebody's political ambitions or a revolution.

"They need meat, 7-10kg. In total, the park consumes about 500kg of meat per day."

"(The situation) is very serious because, like all other companies, we stored our money in a Ukrainian bank.

"The bank of Ukraine banned us from using our credit and money."

The safari park, which opened in 2012, is around 30 miles from the Crimean administrative capital Simferopol.

It hosts some 50 African lions, including rare white lions, as well as tigers, giraffes, Himalayan bears, Australian ostriches, kangaroos, bald eagles and monkeys.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed laws completing Russia's annexation of Crimea in March after a referendum that overwhelmingly backed union with Moscow.

 

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