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