Gaza’s lions dispatched to Jordan after Israeli offensive wrecks their lair

A trio of scrawny lions were dispatched to Jordan from Gaza on Tuesday afternoon through the Erez border crossing en route to a better life at a wild life sanctuary after their zoo was damaged by the recent Israeli offensive on the besieged Strip.

The three lions’ cages underwent security checks at the Erez border crossing by an authorized veterinarian, the Israeli news website Yediot Aharonot said Tuesday.

The complicated operation was conducted by the international organization “Four Paws” which rescues animals in third world countries. Earlier this month, the organization announced its intention to send representatives to the Strip to start the rehabilitation of the zoo and save the surviving animals.
In September, a delegation on behalf of “Four Paws” arrived at the Gaza Strip to supply medicine, nutrition and water to the animals, about 20 in total. The head of the delegation, Dr. Amir Khalil, said he was shocked by the zoo’s poor state, the news website further revealed.
“Most of the cages were badly damaged and animal carcasses were scattered all over the place. Very few animals managed to survive, among them the two lions and a lioness that are currently in a state of trauma and fatigue,” said Dr. Khalil in a statement quoted by the same source.

The zoo’s chief veterinarian, Abu Sameer, said that the state of the zoo is dreadful. “During the Israeli military aggression, several monkeys, a lion, a fox and a peacock were killed and the surviving animals suffer severe trauma from the deafening explosions.”
“We don’t have the funds to buy food for the animals and as a result they haven’t been fed for days and are very weak and suffer from malnutrition. Unfortunately, since most of the structures were destroyed, we can’t even take the animals out of their cages to clean, so some of the animals died as result of filth-related diseases,” said the vet.

Before the Israeli offensive, this was a very beautiful area; there were trees and lawns and an amusement park for children to play in. Now, the most important thing for us is to feed the animals and rebuild the zoo so it will be fit for animal habitation,” said Farid al-Hissi, one of the Bisan Zoo employees. (infopalestine)

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