Zoo animals left stranded, dying after Russian flood

  • 01/09/2015
The bears have been left having to stand upright to get above the water
The bears have been left having to stand upright to get above the water

Animals at a private Russian zoo have been caught up and trapped in floodwaters, with a number dying and others being half-submerged despite efforts to save them.

A wolf, lynx and a female bear Masyana drowned in their cages on Sunday, while 14 bears and a lion were left stranded after a river in the city of Ussurisyk burst its banks, Sky News reports.

The animals left alive are reported to be suffering from cold and exhaustion, with some of the bears having to stand upright to breathe.

Video shows zoo workers trying to feed the bears bread, sugar and medicine while on a boat.

Animal trainer Vera Blish believes the animals could have been evacuated because their cages have wheels.

"I was calling the owner of the zoo, I was begging him to help, but no one listened," she says.

A number of reports suggest the cages were either sealed or the keys had been lost in the floodwaters.

A Ministry of Emergencies spokesman told a Russian news agency the evacuation of the zoo wasn't necessary because the receding floodwater meant the animals were no longer in danger.

However, a representative of President Vladmir Putin in the region said later ordered the evacuation of the zoo and those responsible would be held to account.

3 News