A rundown zoo in the Gaza Strip will be relieved of 40 animals including five lions that were being kept in squalid conditions, an animal welfare group confirmed Sunday.
The Four Paws International charity said the animals would be taken out of a zoo in the Palestinian enclave and relocated to sanctuaries in Jordan next week.
Among the other animals to be taken out of their cramped enclosures are a hyena, monkeys, wolves and porcupines, the organisation said in a statement.
Rafah Zoo in southern Gaza confirmed the agreement, saying they weren’t receiving any funds for the animals and couldn’t provide proper care for them in the strip.
Four Paws International wrote on Facebook Sunday that its volunteers were able to successfully get 47 animals including birds, lions, foxes and monkeys were rescued from the zoo in Rafah and transported to be resettled in Jordan.
“Yes! The cages are empty!” the group wrote. “Now they are ready for the trip to their new home.”
The group said the animals in the zoo had been mistreated by the owner, noting that a male and female lion and their cubs were kept under “horrific conditions” and that four of the cubs died in January.
The zoo made headlines in February this year when the cash-strapped owner revealed he had declawed one of the lions there, so that customers could pay to play with her.
The state of the animals in Gazan zoos has long be the concern of animal rights activists and governmental authorities internationally. The combination of military conflict with Israel and the oppressive Hamas regime has left many animals dead, as Breitbart News reported.
Gaza’s last tiger left the war-ravaged Palestinian enclave in August, 2016 along with monkeys, emus, a porcupine and other animals from a zoo dubbed the “world’s worst”, headed for a new life in South Africa and elsewhere.
AFP contributed to this report
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: email@example.com