Ukraine: freezing zoo lion in critical condition

One of the abused lions in Padalko private zoo, Porkovsk, Ukraine, is in critical condition, the local animal rights groups reported. In spite of a strong international response the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology did not react to save the abused animals from filthy conditions, and freezing winter temperatures. The inspectors confirmed the situation in the zoo does not meet a required standard, all animals are exhausted, and many of them are ill. The fences also do not meet the lowest security requirements, causing threat to public safety.

However the owner of the zoo Igor Padalko refuses co-operation with international charities, and does not allow local activists access to animals, although they reiterate their readiness to feed the animals, and also help to isolate the cages with straw, to help lions and bears to survive freezing temperatures without any shelter.

These animals continue to suffer and the government does nothing. The investigator in the case was changed so that this case can be drawn out for as long as possible. This creature “PADALKO” owner of this horror zoo is protected by someone” writes Lionel de Lange, from Lawrence Anthony Earth (LAEO) wildlife charity on his Facebook page. South African, Mr. de Lange came to save the lions from Padalko zoo horrid conditions, and evacuate them to SA sanctuary. He has previously successfully saved lions from of squalid conditions of Ukrainians circuses, transferring them to SA, to their natural wildlife park. But this time unexpectedly his plans were interrupted.

Reportedly all the evacuations of the animals was cancelled due to interference of the Donetsk governor, Alexander Kuz, who  is interested to receive solid state funds to reconstruct the zoo to offer it as an ‘entertainment’ for local children. The activists insist  that children in Donetsk region close to the front line (!), have other needs, and by no means the fading animals can stay any longer in degrading conditions.

However the question of confiscation of Padalko animals, and closure of the squalid camp, is more than about the respect of the wildlife. It is about the intention of President Poroshenko to reform Ukraine, and align the country with the European Union  (EU) norms.

The legendary Brigitte Bardot, and Stefan Eck, vice-president of the European Parliament Animal welfare intergorup (114 members) launched an appeal to President Poroshenko to keep his promise, and respect the EU  Lisbon Treaty Article 13, stating that animal welfare is a “European value‘. But their appeal stayed without response – nothing happened, 5 lions, 11 bears and around 100 other animals are dying from cold and malnutrition in Donetsk steppe icy wind, while Ukrainian authorities are ignoring their suffering, and distress of all those across the world, who care.

The reference to the European values is not a theoretical exercise, the drama of Padalko animals happens amid the reception of one billion euro of macro-financial assistance to Ukrainian government to ensure the implementation of reforms, lifting the country to European norms, and standards, also in the field of justice and public administration.

With Vice-President of the European Commission discussed the progress of reforms, the possibility of completing the current program of macro-financial assistance and providing Ukraine with a second tranche of 500 million euro in early 2019” Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman wrote in his Twitter mico blog

The question is why the European citizens should agree to transfer the second tranche of EUR500, if  the Ukrainian government,  judiciary and civil servants do not show a slightest respect the European values?




  • Please have,a heart and let these animals be take to a safe haven in South Africa.


  • Time the Ukraine gov stood up and alleviated the suffering of these starved, neglected animals. Please let them go to the Lawrence Anthony Earth Org and partners who have the resources to care for them. Show the EU that Ukraine can deliver.


  • Please release this poor innocent lion from the hell he’s living in.What does it do for u to see him suffer so much.God forgive u and open your sad heart ti give him his freedom now.If u haven’t listened to Brigitte Bardot then please listen to The Lord God Almighty.


  • People of Ukraine
    let this poor lion go to his homeland. He is a creature and not a thing that belongs to you !!!

    Look at him how he has to suffer.

    Arent you ashamed?

    Take him back to africa !!!!

    Thank you


  • Do something!!!!! Now about this animals and any others that need help!!!!!


  • All wild animals belong in the wild.


    • We in the West r asked to be sympathetic to the Ukrainians regarding the Russians seizing of their ships.I don’t think I feel much sympathy for the evil people who allow innocent animals to be kept in appalling conditions where they die unnecessarily. God forgive them and God bless those poor animals.


  • Stephane Andersson

    Personally I would rent a truck and put the animals outside the government buildings in Kiev. Or outside the zoo in Kiev. So the authorities can take notice with the public watching, and write a note saying if Ukraine wants to become a eu country. Then they should behave like one. The murder of hundreds of thousands dogs. Before the football euros in Ukraine a few years ago and the attitude the government it’s showing now. shows eu integration is far far away. They shouldn’t ever bother trying to join the European community, and may as well integrate back with Russia. Or go back to full communism as it seems they never truly left


  • Stephane Andersson

    Treatment of animals as if they were In a Russian circus. Shows Ukraine president is not truly EU minded and he is more aligned with Russian animal values.


  • Hello from Ukraine!
    We are just ordinary people, but we are not indifferent to the fate of these animals. Please, help us to save lives of lions, bears and other animals from the clutches of this slaughter.
    They are freezing in cages installed in the field in freezing winter temperatures (city of Porkovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine). SOS!!!!!
    For further information about the situation of the animals in Padalko zoo, please see the Facebook group #LionDonetsk.



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