Two circus-bound camels stuck at Ukrainian border die

11:11, 06 February 2009
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20 camels held up at the Ukrainian border for nearly a week

Two of the 20 camels held up at the Ukrainian border for nearly a week have died, a Russian border guard spokesman told RIA Novosti on Friday.

"Two camels died today," the spokesman said, without giving any indication of how they had died.

Last Saturday, a truck carrying the camels from the southern Russian republic of Kalmykia was stopped by Ukrainian customs officials after crossing the Russian border. Customs agents checked all of the documents and cleared the truck containing the animals to leave Russia, but the truck was not allowed into Ukrainian territory. The camels are due to be delivered to a Bulgarian circus.

A Russian customs spokesman said on Wednesday that the animals had been denied entry to Ukraine in connection with laws prohibiting the transit of animals through the country due to concerns over African swine fever.

"The sender and the Bulgarian side are currently discussing the possibility of transporting the camels ... via the territory of Russia, Belarus and Poland," a border guard officer said on Thursday.

The animals have had to endure freezing temperatures, although hay and water are being provided.

RIA Novosti

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