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Truck for camels at Russian-Ukrainian border delayed


ROSTOV-ON-DON, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - The arrival of a truck to transport 18 circus camels which have been held at the Russian-Ukrainian border for over a week has been delayed until Wednesday, a Russian border official said on Monday.

A truck carrying the camels from the southern Russian republic of Kalmykia was stopped by Ukrainian customs officials after crossing the Russian border on January 31. 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 animals are bound for circuses in Bulgaria.

Last Friday, the Bulgarian circus sent its own truck to transport the animals via the territory of Russia, Belarus and Poland. It was earlier expected to arrive late on Sunday or early on Monday.

Two of the 20 camels, which were to be delivered to a Bulgarian circus, have already died. The animals have had to endure freezing temperatures, although hay and water are being provided.

"We have recently established contact with drivers of the truck. They are currently on the border with Moldavia. I think they could arrive by Wednesday," the head of the Russian border checkpoint said.

The delay could have been caused by "several state borders, and, possibly, by weather conditions," she added.

A Russian customs spokesman earlier said 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.

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