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Gaza Zoo's Newborn Lion Cubs Die Due to Lack of Experience...So Why is There a Zoo at All?

It was reported just last week that a lion had killed a lioness at the Dallas Zoo, for reasons still unknown. Onlookers watched in horror as the event took place, and this week, many hold their breath at the sad news of the two young lion cubs’ unnecessary deaths in a Hamas-run Gaza Zoo.

Veterinarian Dr. Saud Shawa, founder of Gaza’s first veterinary services center and clinic said, “Gaza did not have the proper capabilities to raise cubs or lions…Cubs need special care, vaccines, nutrition, and vitamins. Not all of them are available in Gaza…Raising lions isn’t easy and needs to be done professionally and safely, based on a background and knowledge of that tropical world,” reports the National Post.

The Washington Times revealed, “The cubs had an undisclosed illness, but the staffers weren’t properly trained or equipped to care for them.”

The cubs’ parents are the only lions in Gaza, and according the National Post, “they were smuggled in from Egypt four years ago, when they were only three months old, through the Rafah tunnels, under the border between the Palestinian territory and Egypt.”

This video by SBS Australia, shows a glimpse of what the tunnels look like, and how difficult it would be to get a wild animal through them. The segment does not show this particular Zoo in question, but provides some information on what it is like at a similar zoo in Gaza in regards to animal smuggling and costs. Some footage of the animals could be upsetting to some viewers.

Yahoo News reports that, “the Hamas armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades congratulated itself on having smuggled the cubs’ parents past the Israeli blockade. The group said on Twitter: ‘Despite Israel’s unjust siege, Palestinians managed to smuggle these [two] lions to draw a smile on faces of Gaza kids.'”

Lions and all wild animals need their natural habitat for prolonged survival. The weather of Gaza is too cold for the lions, which even the manager of the Gaza Zoo admitted to the National Post. In this case, lions became yet another victim of the conflict between Gaza and Israel.

 Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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11 comments on “Let’s Shut These Zoos! Newborn Lion Cubs at Gaza Zoo Die”

Click to add comment
Cathy Carbonelli
4 Years Ago


Aisling Maria Cronin
4 Years Ago


Paula Kehoe
4 Years Ago

All of them all over the planet!

Angelica Garcia
4 Years Ago

Why are these animals becoming extinct in the first place? We need education and follow-through on laws against poaching, smuggling and illegal and even legal hunting. Why is "canned" hunting even permited in parts of Africa...Foxes, wolves, wild horses etc..hunted for sport and/or to "save" sheep and cattle here in the US...users of rhino horn for so-called "medicinal" purposes...animal pelts for fur wearers!?...on and on...stop the abuse!

Giselle Mehta
4 Years Ago

another unfortunate aspect of conflict

Wayne Luke
4 Years Ago

While conditions in zoos need to improve, we've reached a point of human destruction that many of these animals will go extinct if not protected in captivity. The California Condor was down to 13 birds before they were caught and a breeding program was instituted in a zoo. Now there are over 100 in the species and they are in the wild again as well. Cat, Bear and Canine species around the world are at risk and breeding programs are keeping them alive. At one point 50% of the world's Asian Snow Leopard population was housed at a zoo-like facility near my house. Many animals are generations bred in captivity as well. They are no more suitable for wild living than your common house cat or ball-fetching terrier. So yes, zoos need to be improved but they serve and will continue to serve vital Eco-diversity roles in this planet's shrinking biosphere.

Linda Wark
26 Nov 2013

Zoos only serve as a make-shift solution to a human problem that is so expansive that any "good" captive animal institution is a little band-aid. If only humans would get out of the way and stop creating situations that need "fixing".

Wayne Luke
26 Nov 2013

I agree. I don't foresee human behavior changing in the near future though. Those that care would have to make the best of a bad situation. If scientists are correct in 150 years, animals won't have to worry about humans and the environment can recover.

Jerry A Webb
4 Years Ago

Lions kill lions in the wild too. I've been to the Dallas Zoo. They have a nice lion exhibit. And to answer your question, they and other zoos raise millions of dollars for conservation efforts around the world.

Marie Maria
4 Years Ago

Iyo baga

Marley Makaveli
4 Years Ago

Marie Maria the cub's eyes like Bibiya :)


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