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Kiev mayor sacks zoo chief for failing to find mate for elephant

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The mayor of Ukraine's capital Kiev said he sacked the head of the city's zoo after he failed to find a "wife" for a male elephant, Ukrainian media reported on Thursday.
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - The mayor of Ukraine's capital Kiev said he sacked the head of the city's zoo after he failed to find a "wife" for a male elephant, Ukrainian media reported on Thursday. (Indian elephants take a dip in Siberian river - Image gallery)

Kiev Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky said he sponsored the elephant through Kiev zoo's sponsorship program, and his deputies are also involved in the project.

"Today... I remembered that I feed the elephant 100,000 hryvnas ($13,000) per quarter or per month - I don't remember exactly," he was quoted as saying by Ukraine's UNIAN news agency.

"He eats a lot," Chernovetsky went on. "He is single and needs a wife - he is 30 years old and has no wife, although he is good-looking, even handsome."

The mayor, notorious for his extravagant initiatives, recently raised the idea of establishing a pet cemetery to be managed by the Kiev Zoo.

"If you want to bury your pet frog, [you should] order a headstone [for it]. We will engrave it and charge $1,000, just to let the frog know that it was born for a reason," he said.

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