Ukraine war: Indian doctor forced to abandon beloved pet jaguar
Gidikumar Patil, a single man, vowed to stay with his dogs after the war began this year. He was an orthopaedic doctor in Svavtove, Severodonetsk, Luhansk, eastern Ukraine.
Mr Patil, 42, a Ukrainian citizen since 2016, got the animals two years ago from a zoo in Kyiv. The male cat is a 14-month-old "lepjag," a rare combination of a male leopard and a female jaguar.
Mr. Patil ran out of money two weeks ago and traveled to Poland to work and feed his pets. The hospital where he worked was closed early in the war and bombed as Ukrainian forces retook Russian-occupied territory.
Mr. Patil lives in a hostel dormitory in Warsaw with other Ukrainian exiles, trying to make a living and worried about his cats.
He says Svavtove's internet stopped working two weeks ago, so he calls a local farmer to check on his cats daily.
Mr. Patil hid with animals in a basement during his town's war Caretaker says animals missed me. Lepjag didn't eat for a week. He was confused. I want to preserve animals but don't know how Mr. Patil said from Warsaw.
Mr. Patil left Ukraine with his clothes, $100, and a few thousand roubles. He sold his farm land, two flats, two cars, motorcycle, and camera for nearly $100,000 (£89,908).
After the war, he spent $300 a month feeding his cats 5kg of meat (mainly chicken).
As the situation worsened and bomb assaults neared my home, I ran out of money and decided to cross the border, earn money, and return, Mr Giri added. He stated he stocked three months' worth of cat food in the freezer and paid the caregiver $2,400 for three months' work.
Plans didn't work out.
After a 12-hour minibus ride through a combat zone to the nearest border, Russian soldiers took him out and interrogated him for three days, Mr. Patil said.
I was blindfolded, dragged from the bus, and interrogated in a little subterranean jail. Since my ID was made in Kyiv, they thought I was a spy for the Ukrainian military.
Mr Giri informed the Russian forces he had chosen no sides in the war and that he was stranded at home with his cats. I showed them my videos
On the third night of my incarceration, a Russian officer informed me his wife had watched my films and assured him I was an animal lover, not a partisan. Sleep well, he said.
They released him the next morning. Mr. Patil says they took his passport and handed him an ID.
They deposited him at the Polish border, where he provided his biometrics and told his story.
Polish authorities offered him a 90-day paper visa, he alleged. A night bus carried him to Warsaw.
Mr Patil is unsure when he can return to his pets as the situation in his hometown worsens. His family in Andhra Pradesh, India, sends him money.
I've asked the Indian embassy in Kyiv to transfer my pets out of Ukraine by phone and WhatsApp. They asserted they don't handle wild animals "saying He says he visited a Warsaw zoo this week to get aid with his animals.
My cats are missing. If the Indian government can aid and take them home, that's wonderful. They need saving.