A traumatised bear from Ukraine, one of the few zoo animals to survive Russian bombardment, will be relocated to Scotland as he is set to find his forever home.
Yampil, named after his Donetsk village, was discovered concussed from an explosion near his cage and in "appalling conditions" when his home was liberated in October of last year, according to zookeepers.
According to reports, the majority of the remaining 200 animals died as a result of attacks or severe conditions, and some are believed to have been eaten by Russian soldiers.
In 2024, Yampil, a 12-year-old Asiatic black bear, will relocate from a rescue centre in Belgium to the Five Sisters Zoo in Edinburgh.
The zoo said in a statement: "This is a truly horrific story, but one we are determined to make sure has a happy ending. It is going to cost Five Sisters Zoo a significant investment to make this possible so if you would like to help us create the perfect home for this truly remarkable bear, please consider donating."
Brian Curran, the zoo’s owner, shared how their hearts were deeply affected upon learning of Yampil’s ordeal and were amazed that he was still “alive and well”.
The village of Yampil itself was liberated from five months of Russian occupation last year, marking a significant moment in Ukraine’s efforts to regain control of territories in the eastern region.
The zoo announced that 10% of all donations will go to the NatuurHulpCentrum in Belgium, where Yampil has been temporarily housed, while the remaining 90% would go towards building a permanent enclosure for the bear.