türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Millyet Newspaper, 4 February 2017)
One hopes Zubkov isn't really standing right next to them.
Businessman and lion tamer Oleg Zubkov was one of the biggest
supporters of Russia's 2014 occupation of Crimea but now he has
his regrets. Zubkov is the owner of a zoo in Yalta called 'Skaza'
(fairy tale), which has 1,500 exotic animals, and the Taygan Safari
Park in Belogorsk, which has more than 50 lions.
Because of the problems Zubkov has been experiencing with the
new Russian administration in Crimea, he has decided to move all
his businesses to Turkey. The Ukranian businessman has set up a
company called 'Taygan Group' in Istanbul and applied for Turkish
citizenship. He stated that Turkish authorities have allocated a
200 hectares (200 x 10,000 square meters) area 26 kilometers from
Istanbul where he can set up his zoo.
Vlad says: "Welcome to my world."
Zubkov said that he wants to move into the international realm,
adding that "I'm applying for Turkish citizenship and I'm not
hiding this. Because from Turkey I'll go to Europe and get animals.
But as long as the economic situation allows, I'll continue to run
Skazka and Taygan Park (in Crimea)."
According to Zubkov, Russian laws leave him no choice but to take
his animals abroad: "at the end of this process, I'll put the lions, tigers
and other animals on a ship to Turkey. If the Russian authorities don't
allow this, it will be a tragedy for Russia and Crimea, not for me. I'll
just go to Europe and get a new lion team."