About a dozen animals in all, some on leashes, others in the models' arms, strutted their stuff for the zoo, one of the oldest in Europe but hard-pressed for funds.
"Casting the models was not easy," Tatiana Fedorishenko, the zoo's deputy director, told AFP, referring to the human kind. "The animals in the show are tame, but the models have to be without fear, and comfortable with them."
"It was hard," confided one of the models, Natasha. "My fox was always trying to run away. I had trouble finishing my walk."
The show was the idea of fashion designers in Russia's second city, in solidarity with the 410 species and 2,000 animals at the zoo in Alexander Park that was founded in 1865.
"I'm taking part because of my compassion for animals," said designer Vladislav Aksyonov. "I am flatly opposed to the use of natural fur and I also want to help our zoo."