The Siege of Leningrad is perhaps one of the most tragic and heroic pages in the history of the Great Patriotic War. According to Hitler's plan, the city had to be destroyed together with the forces defend it. However, failing to break through the defense of the city, the Germans deprived to take the city into submission. Then everybody had hard, but there were people who tried a last effort to save not only themselves and their families, but also the animals in the Leningrad Zoo. VC. Buriak and elephant Betty. 1932.
How is it possible - to save more than one hundred and sixty animals and birds in the city, whose streets and then bursting enemy shells, which completely stopped the supply of electricity, which resulted in the shutdown of water supply and sewage system, where they just do not what to feed?
Of course, the staff of the zoo before the siege tried to save unique animals. As a matter of urgency to Kazan was removed about 80 animals, among whom were black panthers, tigers, polar bears, the American tapir and a huge rhinoceros. However, to take all failed.
Entrance to the animal park. Postcard. 1920.
About sixty inhabitants of the zoo in the beginning of the war were in Belarus. They were brought to Vitebsk to show local children. However, the plans of people have been destroyed so suddenly the war. To escape the bombings, zoo employees tried to save as many animals.
Among their wards he was also the American crocodile. Unfortunately, they could not take him, as for the movement he needed special conditions. Someone suggested to let the crocodile in the water of the Western Dvina, supported this idea, and heat-loving reptile went into free-swimming. About his future so no one knew.
In the Leningrad before the bombing of the people they were forced to shoot the remaining large carnivores. Of course it was a pity no innocent animals, but leave them meant to endanger the inhabitants of the city: once free in the destruction of cells by shells, they could go hunting.
Hippo Beauty. 1935.
In early September, forty-one, Leningrad was surrounded. By that time the zoo were bison, deer, elephant Batty, hippopotamus Beauty, trained bears, cubs, cubs, seal, two donkeys, monkeys, ostriches, black vulture and a variety of small animals. Oh, and they had a hard time during the bombing!
Most animals in horror rushed through the cells, growling with fear bears, birds were slaughtered in a corner, but the chamois, on the other hand, for some reason climbed the hill and stood there, waiting for the end of fire. Elephant Batty, barely hearing the siren sounds, quickly set off in his house. It was not her other refuge. Unfortunately, September 8 right next to her aviary exploded one of the three high-explosive bombs dropped from a German bomber that killed the caretaker and mortally wounded the very Batty. The poor girl died in 15 minutes directly to the ruins of the elephant. She was buried at the zoo.