Category Archives: Wildlife

Bardot accuses Poroshenko in disrespect of EU values

The ongoing horrendous abuse of wild animals in private zoo of Palalko family in Porkovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, caused outrage of animal welfare defenders in Europe and beyond, provoking reaction of the leading and most respected figure of the European animal welfare movement – Brigitte Bardot.

The chair of the Fund defending animals, Ms.Bardot appeald to President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to save the animals, but also accusing him of non-respect of European values, namely Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, stating that the animal welfare is a “European value“.

This scandalous situation is causing terrible damage to the image of Ukraine and undermining the popular conviction that your country respects European values, in particular Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, which states that animals are sentient beings. and that the implementation of Union policies must take full account of the requirements of animal welfare wrote world famous relentless campaigner Brigitte Bardot in an open letter, which original was sent today to the Ambassador of Ukraine in France.

That is why I appeal to your authority, Mr Poroshenko, to act urgently and order the immediate rescue and moving to a appropriate place of all the animals held by Mr Igor Padalko” – Brigitte Bardot wrote, appealing to President’s personal engagement. The letter was issued in two languages in French and Ukrainian.

Bardot letter PPPadalko family keeps a private zoo in outbursts of the city of Pokrovsk, in the field, in open small cages, exposed to winter minus temperatures. One of the lions was frozen to death in the beginning of December, according to the local animal welfare activists.



MEP Eck calls President Poroshenko to save freezing to death zoo lions

Stephen Eck  (Germany), the vice president of the 114 members strong Intergroup on Animal Welfare and Conservation of the European Parliament called the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to act without delay to save animals suffering the horrendous abuse in Padalko family zoo in Porkovsk, Donetsk region. (Image below: lion frozen to death in his filthy cage in urine).

The MEP called the President after the news broke out that one of the five lions was found frozen to death in his open to winter weather cage. The Ukrainian animal rights groups sill hope to save the animals including 11 bears and 83 other spices including primates if veterinarians receive an opportunity step in immediately  to take proper care of them, all suffering from freezing temperatures and malnutrition.

I assume the animals will not survive winter time, – MEP Stefan ECK said. – I appeal to President Poroshenko to do something immediately to transfer the animals to the other zoo, where they can survive the winter”.

However the vice-president did not limit himself to the concrete action, but he has challenged the President on  his ambition of the European integration, reminding about welfare of the animals being enshrined in Lisbon Treaty of the European Union.

The evacuation of these animals in three month term, proposed by the authorities is absolutely unacceptable, it is too late, all animals will be dead by then“, – Mr.Eck continued.

Ukraine is pushing forward plans of membership in the EU and in NATO, and even is willing to include this goal into the Constitution. If Ukraine wants to become a member of the EU, it should align its policies with our values, and animal welfare is a value of the European Union – Article 30 of the Treaty of Lisbon states that the implementation of the Union policies must take into consideration the full account of the animal welfare requirements, and that animals are the SENTIENT BEINGS.” – MEP said.

How Europeans can believe in intentions of Ukraine to align with the EU if it shows tolerance of barbarism and cruelty to animals?”

“President Poroshenko, I ask you from here, from the European Parliament to create legal regulations for a better animal welfare in your country, then you can knock on the door of the EU, but not before! Thank you.” the Mr.Eck concluded.

For further information about the situation of the animals in Padalko zoo, please see the Facebook group #LionDonetsk.

At present four lions and 11 bears are freezing in cages installed in the field in freezing winter temperatures (city of Porkovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine). All funds collected by animal rights groups vanished, the conditions of animals stay unchanged. Activists hope the prosecutors will issue an order to confiscate the zoo, and as a state property the animals will be transfered to safety.Padalko Zoo cages

Wolf diversity destructed by hunters

Many species face current populations declines, which is often a consequence of human behavior e.g. hunting, habitat destruction. This leads to genetic bottlenecks. Once genes have been lost from a population, they are irreversibly lost, and the population left behind is weaker and less able to adapt to future changes in their environment.

Wolves in Europe are currently experiencing this genetic bottleneck, due to historic hunting and the subsequent slow re-population. In response to this, scientists from the University of Lausanne sequenced the DNA of 150 wolves from museums all across Europe. Their objective was to find out if the decline in the wolf population during the last two centuries influenced the wolf’s genetics.

The study shows that just one century ago, the genetic diversity of the wolf was more than double that of the current wolf population. At the same time the individual wolves across Europe were genetically more similar to each other than today. This suggests that there was more gene flow in the past, and that wolf populations were larger. The findings are in line with the prosecution of the wolf on the whole continent in the 19-20th centuries. The results of the study also shows that the Italian wolf sub-species used to be present in other parts of Europe as well.

The scientists also found significant genetic differences between modern Eastern and Western European wolves. Hunting nearly completely eradicated the wolf in Western Europe in the 19th and 20th century. As a consequence, its genetic diversity significantly decreased at the turn of the 20th century. The re-population by the remaining wolves is the cause for the significant changes in modern wolf genetic composition. This development is in contrast to the Eastern European wolf populations, which have never been hunted to such an extent as the wolves in Western Europe. These Eastern European populations still show a similar genetic diversity as a hundred years ago.


Chechen lion cub needs home in Africa

Russian animal rights defenders hope to transfer little lion cub Simba (pictured) from Grozny (Chechnya) to Africa via one of the international wildlife charities. With open wounds, sick, exhausted and distraught the little patient was surrendered to one of Grozny veterinary clinics, where his owners explained that he could not bear life in cage and became self-destructive, causing himself multiple injuries. The vets of Aibolit Clinic were more than happy to take care of an a-typical patient for free, however they launched call for donations for medications. At present there is an ongoing campaign to collect funds for Simba, while he still receives treatment.

Aibolit Grozny

Russian the animal rights groups are looking for contacts with experts in wildlife to secure the best possible future for Simba, returning him to Africa, where he belongs. The biggest fear is his landing in one of Russian zoos or circuses, in a barbaric show, being trained to perform tricks by electroshock  collar. The fears of activists are not exaggerated – there are no laws protecting animals against human cruelty in Russia, and numerous big cats are suffering in zoos, both private and public,  and the circuses, often travelling locked for days in small cages.

Simba cub Video

Sometimes animal sufferings in circuses accumulate, and explode on public like in a recent case of a lioness attack in Krasnodar circus. Reportedly a four year old girl who was injured during the incident is still in an intensive care in coma. “When animal circus will be banned?” raise the rhetoric question internet users, commenting on the tragedy. “Disgrace having this kind of barbaric shows in 21 century!”, “Lynching of animals is not funny”, express many their indignation.

There is growing conviction among young generation of Russians that big cats belong to the wild, and it is cruel and degrading to deprive them of freedom and their natural habitat, exploiting in barbaric circus shows or keep them locked in cages in zoos prison. Unfortunately for the animals there are plenty of hunters among Russian lawmakers, who entertain themselves in killings, perceiving animals only as game. Apparently hunting lobby is blocking any progressive legislation concerning wildlife.

It is not the first case of a tragedy in Russian circuses lately.  In the draft law “On the responsible handling of animals”, a ban is imposed on mobile forms of circuses and licensing for stationary ones. If this law had passed last July, then Kransodar tragedy would not have happened. Therefore, I believe that the blame for the incident lies more with the ecology committee of the State Duma, which has already delayed the adoption of this important bill for the third session”  said the chair of the Alliance for animals Yuri Koretsky to Europe Diplomatic.


With powerful hunting lobby he perspective of modern humane legislation for animals in Russia is blurred, in spite of all tragic incidents and public opinion against cruelty.

“The hunting business remains one of the most corrupt in Russia” – said managing director of ecological movement «Biom» Anna Kirilenko  at Duma hearing on October 26 on ban оf hunting some rare spices.

Anna van Densky

Albania hell for animals ‘safari park’ closed

Four Paws reported they managed to  transfer the wild animals from “Europe’s worst zoo” in Fier, Albania, to a new shelter. “However, this is just a temporary situation, as we will look for species-appropriate accommodations for each one of them“, they added. The operation took place under supervision of Albanian police, entering the filthy prison for wild animals together with veterinarians from Four Paws, who initiated the rescue operation.

On October 23, the animal rights group said Albanian authorities had ordered the closure of the zoo which then followed the recent evacuation process.

Four Paws has been investigating Fier Safari Park Zoo since December 2015 but explained that because of legal regulations, it was not possible to intervene until now.

“Due to safety reasons, the owner of Safari Park Zoo was not informed in advance about the confiscation of the wild animals,” Four Paws statement read.

Google and eBay aim to defeat wildlife traffic

Leading websites Google and eBay are fighting the sale of rare creatures and their body parts over the internet in an illicit market worth millions of pounds. Illicit wildlife trade is the fourth largest black market in the world, worth $20 billion annually, impacting more than 7,000 species of animals and plants.

A recent investigation by the International Fund for Animal Welfare discovered online ads for ivory, rhino horn, live big cats, orangutans and gorillas as well as the skins from tigers, lions, cheetahs and leopards. Parrots, owls and birds of prey are also being sold in high numbers along with turtles and tortoises.

Nowadays the fight against using cyber technologies for profits of illegal wildlife is bringing together government bodies, conservation campaigning organisations and the major internet names in increased efforts to stop to systemic damages to spices.

The leading players of the among IT companies expressed their confidence that the way e-commerce, technology and social media companies are working together will end the global criminal network.


Policemen shot ‘mistaken’ for wolves near Rimini

Two brothers were cited this week for firing on police after mistaking movements for those of wolves in the hills near Rimini this week.
The incident took place at Serra di Valpiano at Pennabilli while police and forest rangers were engaged in a tracking activity called wolf bowling -ANSA news  agency reports. Image: illustration

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