Animal charity rushes to save cats and dogs left clinging to trees in flooded Kherson after dam destroyed

Saving animals from the flood
Saving animals from the flood. Image: Reuters.

NEWS AND VIEWS – UKRAINE: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s words accompanying the video below:

While the Russian evil is terrorizing and destroying all living things, we are doing and will continue to do everything to save every living creature! Thousands and thousands of animals are trapped in the flood after the destruction of the dam and other structures of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant by Russia. We remember that humanity means taking care not just of each other, but of all living beings. We, Ukrainians, save and protect lives. Thank you to everyone who helps!

It seems clearer now that the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine north of Kherson was destroyed by Russians. We don’t know why but the emerging evidence points to a deliberate act of destruction in this war. It is difficult to figure out the advantage that this act brings to the Russians as the area is controlled by Russians and Russians live there. And its destruction will affect water supplies to Crimea which is occupied by Russians.

What’s clear is that thousands of humans and their cats and dogs and other pets are suffering. Another act of terror from a terrorist state.

An animal rights, animal rescue charity in Ukraine called UAnimals is involved in rescuing the animals caught up in this massive flood. We are told that animals have been left clinging to trees with many thousands trapped according to the president. I suspect it means that they are trapped inside homes that have been vacated by their owners or on trees or small areas of raised ground where they found temporary safety but with no possibility of finding food.

Superb Ukrainian animal rescuers dodge bombs and bullets to rescue dogs and cats stranded in floodwaters

The charity operates out of Kyiv. They rely on an army of volunteers which is typical of most animal charities and the operational director said that lots of animals have died because of the rising waters. They couldn’t get out of their homes and their owners left.

They estimate that upwards of 300 animals have died in the Kazkova Dibrova Zoo in Russian occupied Kherson. That area is almost completely submerged. You can see swans and ducks on the water and that’s about it.

In a further act of madness, the Russians had mined the zoo. Volunteers had requested to feed the animals at the zoo which was granted by the Russians. They didn’t go in because of the mines. The volunteers had tried to evacuate the animals but the Russians prevented it. Many local citizens offered their help.

It has been claimed that the blowing up of the dam is an act of ecoside meaning the destruction of wildlife (“the mass damage and destruction of the natural living world”) and it may not be possible for Ukraine to fully recover.

A spokesperson for the United Nations Environment Programme said:

“The draining of the reservoir will harm spawning grounds, impacting the ability of fish populations to reproduce,” they said. “Coastal fisheries including spawning areas are also likely to be impacted by the elevated water levels.”

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