Story By: Amelia Guran, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video Credit: CEN/@DianaButorina
Russian zoo operators have been accused of abandoning their animals when the lease finished leading to many dying of starvation.
The incident took place in the village of Oktyabrsky in the district of Ustyansky located in the north-western Russian region of Arkhangelsk Oblast.
According to local media, the unnamed operators ran a zoo with a crocodile, monkeys, a python, parrots, peacocks, red-eared slider turtles and small furry animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
When the lease on the animal park finished, the management reportedly left operations and asked a friend to look after the animals for a few days, offering the woman 1,000 RUB (13 GBP) to cover some of the costs.
The woman claimed that their phone calls stopped in this period and she was unable to reach them.
She reportedly had to feed the animals at her own personal expense, using home-grown vegetables from her garden.
However, the woman was unable to feed them all, especially the larger predators such as the crocodile, and many animals were left without food for nearly a week.
According to resident Diana Butorina, many animals died while others were so hungry they became aggressive and attacked caring volunteers who had come to feed them and clean their cages.
Reports said that the property owner has contacted the zoo operators, but they claim that the animals are now owned by another person who will not return to Russia until next week.
It is unclear if they are being investigated by the local authorities.
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