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Ukrainian bombing kills beloved Kangaroo

US-supplied cluster munitions struck the animal park in Belgorod

A Ukrainian artillery attack has resulted in the death of a Bennett’s tree kangaroo named Grundy, the Belgorod Zoo said on Tuesday. The animal park in Russia’s border region has been closed until further notice due to the week-long shelling.

Ukraine has targeted Belgorod and the surrounding region for the past week, ahead and during the Russian presidential election, as its forces suffered setbacks all along the frontline. While Russian air defenses have managed to shoot down some rockets, a number has managed to get through. 

“Grundy, our pet Bennett kangaroo, was killed in the shelling,” said the post on the zoo’s VK page on Tuesday. “The [exotic animal area] and the kangaroo enclosure were damaged by cluster fragments. Unfortunately, Grundy was outside at that time…”

Bennett’s tree kangaroo is native to Queensland in northeast Australia. Grundy came to Belgorod from St. Petersburg in late 2019 and was described as “friendly, meek and absolutely fearless.” The zoo staff said she really loved being hand-fed, with a preference for grapevine branches.

The fatal strike came during the season where marsupials nurture newborns in their pouches. Grundy had given birth to her first offspring in 2022 and the zoo had been hoping she might be pregnant again. An autopsy will be performed as soon as the circumstances allow.

“Now we wish there was no one in her pouch,” the VK post said. 

Read more

11 dead after week of Ukrainian strikes on Russian region – official

“There are no words to convey the pain. And anger. And powerlessness,” the zoo said. “We will never forget you, sweetie. When this waking nightmare is over, Grundy, we will plant the most delicious grapes in our forest in honor of you!”

The Belgorod Zoo added that at least none of the staff were harmed. While the park has been shut down until further notice, employees are still coming in to take care of the animals.

According to the Belgorod authorities, over the past week Ukrainian strikes have killed 11 civilians – including children – and injured 82 more, about half of whom have required hospitalization. Nine people are currently in serious but stable condition.

Kiev’s forces have been using multiple-launcher rocket systems, such as the US HIMARS and the Czech Vampire, to strike at Belgorod since January, when 25 civilians were killed and over 100 injured in a Christmas market massacre. The missiles have often been armed with cluster warheads, many of which have been provided by the US, which is not a signatory to the convention banning the controversial munitions because of their harm to noncombatants.

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