Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Dallas Park and Recreation Board President Arun Agarwal, the Dallas Zoo, and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department are teaming up to help Ukrainian zoos affected by the Russian invasion.
"Zoos require constant attention, and while staff have remained in Ukraine to help care for the animals, they are struggling to keep themselves and their animals safe and alive," Agarwal said. "They need our help now."
Agarwal created a fundraising page on GoFundMe after he spoke to Martin Zordan, CEO of World Association of Zoos and Aquatics, who stressed the need for assistance.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquatics is working with the European Association of Zoos and Aquatics to coordinate the support of the Ukrainian zoos.
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"As the first step, the Dallas Zoological Society has already made a $10,000 donation to the EAZA efforts to assist these vulnerable and stressed animals in these chaotic times of war," Greg Hudson, president & CEO of the Dallas Zoo, said.
Johnson commended the collaborative effort to help Ukraine.
"We must do all that we can to assist the people of Ukraine as they continue to stand against an illegal, unprovoked, and unjustified invasion by the Russian Federation," Johnson said. "Dallas is an international city, and it is important that we step up and help our friends around the world in any ways that we can. I am grateful to our Park Board President Arun Agarwal and the Dallas Zoo for their attention to this matter and for their generosity."
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Contributions to the fund will go to the Dallas Zoological Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The money will help to provide food, veterinary care, and medicine for the animals in Ukraine.
Funds can also provide support to teams caring for the hurt and stressed animals, and they can help pay for transport and evacuation services whenever possible.