The threat is real: the director of “Ascania-Nova” on the possibility of the Russians removing animals from the reserve

The threat is real: the director of “Ascania-Nova” on the possibility of the Russians removing animals from the reserve

The threat of removal of animals from the reserve “Askania-Nova”, which is located in the occupied part of the Kherson region, is quite real. However, no such actions have been observed so far.

This was reported on the page of the Biosphere Reserve “Askania-Nova” named after F.E. Falz-Fein on Facebook after information about the removal of animals to the Krasnodar “Safari Park” appeared in the Center of National Resistance on November 6. They noted that this is happening within the framework of the so-called “cooperation agreement” with the occupation administration.

However, the director of “Ascania-Nova” denied these data. According to him, this is not the first such “agreement on creative cooperation and exchange of animals”. In August 2023, the occupation administration also concluded agreements with the Rostov Nature Reserve, the Steppe Wildlife Association, and the Rostov-on-Don Zoo.

Also in October, the self-proclaimed director D. Meshcheryakov signed an agreement with the Yalta Zoo. It involves the exchange of such rare species of animals as Przewalski’s horse, saiga and Turkmen kulan. This is a violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Reserve “Askania-Nova”. Photo: Oleksandra Butova/Getty Images)

At the same time, Shapoval emphasizes that “the actual movement of animals from Askania-Nova has not taken place until today.”

“In the end, the situation with the signed contracts is nothing more than a cynical attempt to legitimize the next “exchange” of stolen animals by concluding an official document. But this does not change the essence of the problem and the status of the animals – they remain stolen. And it does not change the criminal status of the signatories. However, based on from the realities, it is necessary to prepare with a cold mind for the losses and the need for the next restoration of the infrastructure and collections”. – said the director.

According to him, the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, and law enforcement agencies have been informed about this situation.

In addition, proposals were made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the mandate of the UNESCO monitoring mission to access and control occupied nature conservation territories.

We will remind you that earlier we wrote that the UNESCO mission to record the cultural monuments destroyed by the Russians has started working in Chernihiv.

Read also: “Broken skull, knocked out teeth and torn off tail”: how volunteer Anastasia Tykha from Irpen saves injured animals

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