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May 9
9:00 -19:00

«Animals of the World War II»

Odessa Zoo has prepared a special meeting with the visitors to the Victory Day. 

On May 9, 2015 from 9:00 to 19:00 at the central square of the zoo will be a photo exhibition "Animals of the World War II". Photo exhibition will tell about the events of the war period and the role of animals in it. Guests of the exhibition will learn many interesting things about the fate of the Odessa zoo in a difficult war time. 

* * * * * 

At the territory of Odessa zoo was set antiaircraft battery during the defense of the city. The soldiers patronized the animals, helped the wounded ones, cut the grass, and have bringing the meat of dead horses. 
After the order of Commander to leave Odessa was conducted evacuation of the army and the civilian population. By the merchant navy ships were transported equipment from the factories and plants as well as were evacuated the horses of cavalry units. This operation has been recognized as one of the most exemplary in the history of the World War II. The animals of Odessa zoo however were not possible to take away. The founder and first director of Odessa zoo Beizert Henry stayed in Odessa and looked after the animals during the war and Nazi occupation without any support from the occupation authorities. 
During the city occupation the zoo staff, headed by Beizert performed duties as compulsory requirement of the city authorities. The zoo was closed. Within two months, zoo workers freed space of the Assumption church from the archives stored there for the period since 1875 with the use of horse and mechanical transport. The archive was a large-tonnage property. Shipping and transportation was headed by G. Beizert. 
In November 1941, a commission visited the zoo to inventory the entire property as a trophy of the conquerors. The workers fed the animals by earning money for food from their meager stocks. No one received a salary. Henry Beizert proposed to take the animals and people on the maintenance of Commission. The Commission refused, and without being able to help they left. Then the director of the zoo opened a knitting shop, the proceeds of which went on animals’ feeding. 
During the retreat of the invaders the last ones wanted to take the copies of the most valuable species from the Odessa zoo. Most of all they wanted to take bison. Several times Heinrich Beizert reported that the animal is wild and very dangerous. When an order to remove the animal was received, G. Beizert set off a trick having prepared the animal for evacuation. When leaving the zoo vehicle with bison and the other animals for a long time was circling the city. Then the animals have been hidden in the station Odessa-Trading. 
Within two days after the liberation of Odessa, on April 12, 1944, Odessa Zoo was opened to the public. At this time, the zoo contained 30 species of mammals, 21 species of birds and 1 species of reptiles. In June 1944, Henry Beizert received a mandate to maintain the zoo. 


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