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Sharing the Christmas spirit with abandoned animals in Ukraine

Friday, January 08, 2016 - 01:16

Volunteers share Christmas spirit with animals abandoned in a private zoo at the estate of the country's ousted president Viktor Yanukovich. Diane Hodges reports.

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It's feeding time at the zoo. But this is not just any zoo, and not just any food. These animals were in a private zoo at the home of former president Viktor Yanukovich who fled Ukraine in 2014. Now volunteers are taking care of them, and they realized that abandoned Christmas trees would be a free source of food for these abandoned animals, according to worker Serhiy Grigoriev. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) HEAD OF MEZHYGIRYA ZOO, SERHIY GRIGORIEV, SAYING: "An announcement was made but nobody expected for it to turn into a whole social project. So many people responded to it. There were more than 9,000 shares (on Facebook) within the first three days alone (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VOLUNTEER, EVHENIY SMIRNOV, SAYING: "My friend sent me a message over Viber that animals are starving and they need help. I am a biker and I forwarded the message to the general chat group of bikers. Several bikers gathered together, took off and gathered Christmas trees and brought them here." Pine trees are one of the few natural products available during the winter. With more than 2,000 animals at the zoo, it will take a lot of Christmas spirit -- and trees -- to keep them all fed through the winter.

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Sharing the Christmas spirit with abandoned animals in Ukraine

Friday, January 08, 2016 - 01:16