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Emergency wildlife fund started by Denver Zoo supports Ukrainian zoos

The funds will support Ukrainian zookeepers sleeping at zoos to care for animals as they wonder where to get hay, vegetables and other supplies in a war zone.

DENVER — Ukraine zoos that have been impacted by the Russian invasion will receive support from a new emergency wildlife fund created by the Denver Zoo. 

The Denver Zoo Wildlife Emergency Fund will raise money to support animal organizations and personnel working in Ukraine as they provide food, transportation, veterinary care and animal evacuations. 

“So much of what we do is giving the animals in our care everything they need to thrive and create a stress-free environment, and I can’t begin to imagine how you do that in a warzone,” said Maura Davis, assistant curator of pachyderms at Denver Zoo. “I’ve seen the reports that many of the zookeepers in Ukraine are sleeping at their zoos to care for their animals, but I’m sure they’re wondering where they’re going to get their next load of hay, vegetables and other supplies.”

The zoo said it will work with global zoo and aquarium associations to make sure the donated funds go towards organizations, animals and zoo staff most in need. 

Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of Denver Zoo and a council member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) said, “Our zoo professional colleagues in Ukraine have inspired us with their courage and dedication as they work to care for the animals, and we must do what we can to support them as a member of the global zoo and wildlife conservation community.”

> Watch video above: Colorado veterinarian at Ukraine/Romania border helping families fleeing with pets

The zoo said the emergency fund will support Ukrainian zoos now and other global wildlife emergencies in the future. 

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