The pictures of the starving lions trapped in the Sudanese Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo have made headlines around the world. Weary, malnourished lions lied on the ground in a zoo enclosure in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, their bones protruding under their skin: the disturbing images from a private zoo park posted online have evoked worldwide sympathy and moves to save them.
The emaciated lions are just a few of the many animals that are slowly starving to death there. Just last week, one of the lions passed away after months of unberable suffering.
But there is finally hope for the starving animals of Al Qurashi park zoo.The team surrounding Dr Amir Khalil arrived in Khartoum on January 27 and immediately started its vital work for the animals.
Kandanka, the lioness, has been fighting for her life for months and now she may finally stand a chance. The lion Mansour, who’s name means “Victorious” in Sudanese, is also very dehydrated but is healthy enough to be anaesthetised. He was examined with ultrasound, which showed signs of early stages of chronic kidney disease.
Four Paws vets Amir Khalil and Frank Goeritz are doing everything they can, however the rescue operation needs funds. That is why Four Paws launched worldwide call for supporting their life-saving mission in Sudan.
The images were initially shared by Sudanese activist Osman Salih earlier in January and have since been circulated widely online, sparking a campaign to try to save the lions under the hashtag #SudanAnimalRescue.
Zoo staff told Four Paws that conditions of the animals had dramatically deteriorated over the past few weeks, resulting in some of the animals losing almost two-thirds of their body weight.
The lions of the Razgrad zoo, aged between 3 months and 12 years, will soon have a life free from suffering. The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has saved the animals from particularly adverse conditions in an urgent rescue mission which took place over two days. Thus far, the big cats, who come from a three-generation-long inbred line, vegetated for years without any medical care in tiny enclosures.
“To see the animals like that was shocking. Never in their lifetime have these lions been examined by a veterinarian. This is fatal, especially in the light of the systematic inbreeding of the big cats. Here, the descendants of siblings have procreated uncontrolled due to lack of care,” reports FOUR PAWS big cat expert Barbara van Genne. In the past, the bred lions were sold to other zoos, circuses and private persons.
The introduction of a stricter legislation in Bulgaria in 2008, however, led to a reduced demand. Hence, the big cats remained in the Razgrad Zoo.
Since the city owns the zoo, FOUR PAWS convinced the mayor of Razgrad to intervene. The international team of veterinarians provided medical care to all lions and additionally sterilised two adult males. Due to the lack of physical exercise, the older lions already suffer from severe issues with their spines. It is likely that the younger ones will face the same health problems soon.
A 3-year-old lion whose condition was particularly critical has already been brought to Sofia for comprehensive examinations. The veterinarians found sand in his bladder and diagnosed fibrosis in the kidneys. The upcoming results of a CT scan will provide more details about his health. As soon as he is fit enough, FOUR PAWS will transfer the lion to one of its own sanctuaries.
An international animal charity says a month-old lion cub whose mother had been rescued from a defunct zoo in war-stricken Syria has died.
The Four Paws charity says Hajar, born a day after its mother Dana arrived at a wildlife refuge in Jordan, died on September, 8.
The group says that at some point Dana had stopped taking care of the cub. A veterinary team took the cub from its mother for medical care, but Hajar’s condition worsened in recent days.
Charity spokesman Martin Bauer says tests are being conducted to determine the cause of death.
Amman, 14.08.2017 – The rescue from the war-torn zoo in the “Magic World” amusement park close to Aleppo came just in time for a pregnant lioness. On Saturday 12 August, she gave birth to a healthy cub in her new species-appropriate home in Jordan. Only a few hours prior to this, the international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS transferred the lioness and 12 other animals to Amman from Istanbul by passenger plane provided by Royal Jordanian. In the animal sanctuary “Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife”, about an hour away from the Jordanian capital, all thirteen animals were released from their transport cages for the first time since their rescue almost three weeks ago.
A new life is about to begin for the five lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, two hyenas and two dogs. After a challenging rescue mission in Syria, which began in late July, and weeks of waiting in Turkey, FOUR PAWS was successful in bringing the former zoo animals to Jordan. Shortly upon arrival the pregnant lioness, Dana, went into labor. “The birth of the cub named Hajar is another little wonder. We really want to thank Royal Jordanian for pushing back the flight and waiting for all animals to be on board. Otherwise Dana would have given birth in a less appropriate environment which could have ended dramatically. The condition of the lioness and her cub is good considering the circumstances,” says FOUR PAWS veterinarian and head of the mission Dr Amir Khalil. An ultrasound, previously performed during her stopover in Turkey, showed that Dana was pregnant with two cubs. “Chances are little that the second cub will be born alive. It is important that Dana gets the medical attention and rest that she needs. We are already blessed to have not only saved thirteen animals from Syria but fourteen,” explains Dr Khalil.
Turkey/Syria, 24 July 2017 – The first part of FOUR PAWS (UK) latest rescue mission was successful: the animals evacuated from a neglected zoo located in the crises region close to Aleppo arrived in their temporary home after a 24-hour road trip through Turkey. In an animal protection center in Karacabey near the city of Bursa, the veterinary team of the international animal welfare organization has started the medical examination of the nine wild animals.
Depending on the development of the condition of the traumatized and emaciated lions, tigers, bears and hyenas, the journey to their species-appropriate, final home will soon begin. Before this trip starts, the remaining inhabitants of the zoo in the “Magic World” amusement park in Syria are planned to be rescued.The trip to their species-appropriate, final home is not only dependent on the health development of the wild animals.
Firstly, FOUR PAWS is planning to rescue the remaining animals left behind at the zoo in the war-torn Syrian amusement park. “We are currently working hard with our partners to get the remaining animals out of the zoo. If everything goes well, they will reach the Syrian-Turkish border in the coming days. We are not giving up on the animals”, say Dr. Khalil. Once all rescued animals from the “Magic World” zoo are out of Syria, it will be decided where the journey will continue. “FOUR PAWS has some very good options with its own animal sanctuaries, including in Jordan, South Africa and the Netherlands. We will individually decide which place is most suitable for each animal. ”