Now, according to the former director, only mice and rats are fed alive in the zoo, which they themselves breed for this purpose.

The next reproach – that the primates were deprived of meat feed – Skiba also retorts: insect meat is more suitable for them, rather than livestock or poultry.

— South American monkeys eat mainly insects. Before I became director, we didn’t have insects. In the future, we created a vivarium with insects of many species in order to provide the animals with good and proper nutrition. I sat and bred various mealworms for tropical animals.

But still, the loudest and most tragic story that cast a shadow over all the years of Irina Skiba’s work was the death of the giraffe Hamlet in 2004. The giraffe fell and died on the new floor covering. According to one version, the animal slipped. This was the reason for another review.

Skiba claims that gender has nothing to do with it: Hamlet was ill and died a natural death.

– Him [Гамлета] There was a sick thyroid gland and heart failure. He fell because his heart was not working. And he also had a metabolic disorder due to the thyroid gland and terrible regrown hooves. The giraffe Sonya still lives on this floor and her mother Luga lived.

Commission I came to conclusionthat the shortcomings identified in the work of the zoo “are of an objective nature and are associated with a lack of premises and territories.”

In the publication “Fontanki” speaks out the assumption that the reason for Skiba’s dismissal was the problems identified during the inspections. But she herself thinks otherwise: she was removed for not going into corrupt deals, in which her leadership was interested. “We have a good area in the city center. To tear down the zoo and build some houses is very profitable, ”she reluctantly explains.

The idea of ​​creating a new, larger zoo in a different location originated more than 20 years ago. For this at different times considered territories in the Primorsky district, the Yuntolovsky nature reserve, the Rzhevsky forest park, in yucca, in the park of Internationalists, in the village of Solnechnoye. As a result, construction postponed due to the high cost of the project.

Irina Skiba in 2020. Photo: screenshot / Elena Tarasenko / YouTube

Irina Skiba says that she is proud of several things that she has managed to implement over 19 years of work: the zoo has undergone a major overhaul of the pavilion for primates; created “Exotarium” (the ex-director laments that after the arrest of Knyazev, the collection will fall into decay); The complex of enclosures for polar bears, which had previously leaked and collapsed, was rebuilt. They also opened a children’s zoo, built an enclosure for tigers.

But this is not all that was required. Skiba leaves some of his projects not in the best possible shape:

– We have a winter poultry house in disrepair. We went to KGIOP, drew projects [нового птичника]but they were rejected. Then I decided that we would restore the poultry house as it was, although it was of little interest – another barracks. But I was so loaded with all this work and checks that, of course, I was no longer in time with the new project. We also have a goat’s rue in disrepair. In this place, I wanted to make a building for orangutans – a tall human-shaped room.

Irina resisted her dismissal in 2022 just as she resisted attempts to remove her in previous years. The dismissal order was signed in the culture committee in mid-October, but, according to Fontanka, Skiba refused to read it, and later took a sick leave.

But in November, the issue of dismissal was closed. According to Irina, after that she had an ischemic attack, she was taken away in an ambulance and hospitalized for several days.

Skiba denies information “Fontanki”, that she was offered another position at the zoo:

– No director will leave me to work at the zoo. I will pose a very great danger to him.

How is the competitor?

– Yes. I am a professional zoologist. And a professional zoo director.