While thousands of Indian scrambled to leave war-torn Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, an Indian doctor is currently holed up in a basement with his two pet big cats - a leopard and a panther. Due to the ongoing bombing and military aggression in Ukraine, Dr Girikumar Patil has been living in a bunker below his house in Severodonetsk, in the highly conflicted Donbas region.
Separatists control the region, and the situation is fast deteriorating. However, Dr Patil is still not ready to leave the animals behind and fly back to India.
"I will never abandon my pets to save my life. Of course, my family is urging me to return. My pets are my children. I'll stay with them and protect them until my last breath," the Indian doctor was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
Doctor Patil And His Exotic Cats!
Back in 2007, Dr Patil moved to Ukraine to study medicine and later got settled in Donbas. Later, the report mentioned above also stated that he joined a local government hospital as an orthopaedic.
He found the jaguar "orphaned an ill" in a local zoo, adopted it with authorities' permission, and named the animal Yasha. Two months back, he brought the black panther Sabrina as a mate to Yasha.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that after the war between Russia and Ukraine started, Dr Patil only stepped out of his basement to buy food for his exotic cats. While the male jaguar is 20 months old, the female panther is just a six-month-old cub.
Speaking about his pet Jaguar and Panther amid the Russian invasion, Patil said that his big cats have been spending nights in the basement with him as there has been a lot of bombing taking place around them. Furthermore, the 40-year-old also added that the cats are scared and are eating less.
Besides his two exotic cats, the Indian doctor also owns three dogs - Italian mastiffs - and tries to boost funds for them via his YouTube channel, which has over 84,000 subscribers.
Operation Ganga Amid Ukraine-Russia War
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin unleashed a full-fledged attack on his neighbouring country Ukraine. The Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately sprung to action and launched 'Operation Ganga' to bring stranded Indians home. The civil aviation ministry revealed that as many as 2,135 Indians was brought back on March 6 from war-torn Ukraine after crossing into neighbouring countries via land routes and being flown home.
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