Indian Doctor Stuck in Ukraine Builds Bomb Shelter for Pet Panther and Jaguar

While many Indians managed to get back home when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, Dr. Giri Kumar Patil, an Indian national from Andhra Pradesh, stayed back with his two pet cats – a black panther and a jaguar. Stuck in the Donbas region of Ukraine, the Indian doctor now builds a bomb shelter and an enclosure for his pets.

The region where Patil is stuck is under the Russian Army’s control and he is pretty desperate to get out of there. The assistant orthopedic surgeon has sold all his properties and car to acquire the money to build the enclosure. According to News18, Patil plans to appoint a caretaker and return to India as soon as the shelter is completed.

Indian Doctor Stuck in Ukraine Builds Bomb Shelter for Pet Panther and Jaguar

Image: News18

Patil said;

I am constructing an enclosure with bomb shelter which is around 200m long. I have spent close to Rs 80 lakh. I didn’t have any option as the zoos here didn’t want to keep the big cats. Once the shelter is ready, I will have to wait for a human corridor to open.

During the evacuation plans, Patil refused to abandon his cats and requested the Indian Government to help him relocate the animals to India. The Central Zoo Authority reached out to various Indian zoos to find a probable new home for the big cats, to which Mysore Zoo has expressed willingness to take up the responsibility.

Mahadevaswamy, chairman, Zoo Authority of Karnataka, said;

Patil has written to the Indian Government, he was given the option of sending his panther and jaguar to any of the zoos in the India. He has selected Mysore Zoo is what we are told. Our member secretary was informed from Delhi. For 25 years, we have had a black panther and jaguars at our zoo. We have a good environment for the animals here. We have a separate enclosure ready for them.

However, the relocation of the animals may not be easy as it seems, especially when the region is under attack by Russian forces by land and air. Meanwhile, Patil is risking his life every day when he goes out before curfew to visit the market and arrange food for his pets.

Reportedly, Patil moved to Ukraine in 2007. A few years later, he found an ill and orphaned jaguar at a local zoo, which he adopted with authorities’ permission and named it Yasha. Sometime later, he brought a black panther, Sabrina, as a friend for Yasha. He considers these big cats his children and admits that he will do anything to protect them!

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