The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) said it has raised more than $600,000 to help operations at Ukrainian zoos impacted by Russia’s invasion.
“EAZA Ukraine Zoos Emergency Fund has raised €576,371 ($635,000) from a very large number of individual and institutional donors, an extraordinary and humbling result that will help provide immediate and long-term assistance to our colleagues in Ukraine,” a statement from EAZA said.
The groups said it has already made initial cash transfers to zoos in need from the fund.
"These transfers are intended to allow zoos to meet the costs of local resupply while banking facilities are still available,” the statement said.
The donations come after local zoos including the Mykolaiv Zoo posted online pleas for help.
“Every day we go to work, feed and clean the animals despite the howl of the air raid siren,” said the Mykolaiv Zoo director Volodymyr Topchiy in a Facebook post asking for international financial assistance.
Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted Friday the zoo had been bombed since the beginning of the war. Its staff had either been evacuated or joined up to fight the invasion.