Kyiv Zoo employees are living there with their families and the animals, Reuters reported.
Staff and families have bunkered at the zoo for nearly eight days, according to the outlet.
Zoo director Kirill Trentin wrote in a blog post that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is stressing the animals.
Employees at the Kyiv Zoo in Ukraine are living there with their families amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
While some Ukrainian residents have fled the country as Russia's invasion continues, director Kirill Trentin and other Kyiv Zoo staff have stayed behind to help the animals, according to Reuters. The Kyiv Zoo houses nearly 4,000 animals and 200 species.
The outlet reported that staff and their families had lived together on the property for nearly eight days.
—Reuters (@Reuters) March 4, 2022
The group refers to themselves as the "zoo military commune," according to Reuters.
"All day we are working with animals, and at night we are hiding at shelters because there are attacks," Trentin told the outlet.
Trentin told Reuters that a "huge fight" recently broke out, which he believed was an attempt by forces to occupy a military unit.
"Tracer ammunition was flying all over the zoo," Trentin said, adding that the fighting has stressed out the animals.
"And in the morning after, we have to look if anybody was hurt," Trentin told Reuters. "But there were no obvious signs of injuries, and no one's dead."
However, Trentin noted that some birds were injured because they hit themselves on the cage barriers.
Trentin reiterated in a February 26 blog post that the fighting stressed the animals out, prompting staffers to move some animals to indoor enclosures and others to underground galleries.
Veterinarians are on hand to monitor the animals' emotional state and provide reassurance when needed, Trentin wrote. The Independent reported that the Kyiv Zoo has around 10 more days of food left before until they run out.
Animal activists have urged people to help protect the animals in sanctuaries and zoos after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Another group of animals — six lions, six tigers, two caracals, and one African wild dog — were saved when they were taken from the Save Wild animal sanctuary near Kyiv to the Poland border, Newsweek reported.
Reuters reported that the animals were taken in by a Polish zoo in Poznan.
"They had to go a long way around to avoid Zhytomyr and other bombardment zones. They had to turn back many times, because all the roads were blown up, full of holes, impossible to pass with such cargo, which is why it took so long," Poznan zoo spokesperson Malgorzata Chodyla told Reuters.
Reuters reported that the first attempt at the journey failed after the truck encountered Russian tanks and couldn't pass. The Daily Mail reported that they came "under fire" at one point and later had to change routes to avoid bombs and Russian troops.
Insider's Talia Lakritz reported that Ukrainians are also fleeing the country alongside their pets, with photos showing owners holding their animals in metro subway stations as they attempt to leave.
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