Ukrainian premier presented with tiger, donates it to zoo

Ukrainian premier presented with tiger, donates it to zoo


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KIEV, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has donated a tiger she received as a present earlier this week to the Yalta Zoo, the Unian news agency said on Wednesday.

The white Bengal tigress cub named TigrYulya, a reference to the premier’s first name, has already arrived at its new home on Ukraine’s Black Sea resort city, the agency said.

“This is a fantastic present,” zoo director Oleh Zubkov was cited by the agency as saying. “This is the only white tiger in Ukraine.”

Zubkov said Tymoshenko had pledged to fund the cub’s stay at the private zoo.

When given the cub at a music festival on Monday, Tymoshenko joked she would take it to accompany her at crucial talks.

“I am dreaming of taking it to talks, especially when it grows up. It could be more convincing,” Tymoshenko said.

Tymoshenko’s Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, also received a tiger cub as a present last fall and donated it to a zoo. As premier and during his two terms in office as president Putin has been presented with enough wild animals to open a zoo.

The premiers of Ukraine and Russia, whose relations have been strained recently over a host of issues, including natural gas supplies, will meet in Poland on September 1 on the sidelines of events to mark the start of World War II.

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