Gaza Zoo Animals

A tiger named Laziz stands in its enclosure before it is taken out of Gaza by Four Paws International, at a zoo in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The last survivors of a Gaza zoo, where dozens of animals died of starvation and children petted stuffed carcasses, leave for a sanctuary outside the Palestinian territory.

Credit:

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Animals evacuated this week from a zoo dubbed the "world's worst" in the Gaza Strip have arrived at an animal shelter in Jordan, an AFP photographer said on Thursday.

Two turtles, two eagles, two porcupines, a pelican, an emu and a deer arrived late Wednesday near Amman after travelling from Gaza via Israel, said Amir Khalil, a vet from the charity organising the transfer.

Animal welfare charity Four Paws on Wednesday said it evacuated 15 animals — including Gaza's last tiger, Laziz — out of the Khan Yunis zoo, as they headed for a new life outside the Israeli-blockaded territory.

The tiger was put on a plane and flown to South Africa where it arrived on Thursday, while five monkeys remained in Israel, Khalil said.

The animals that arrived in Jordan were placed in quarantine at the New Hope Centre, a shelter near Amman, "while waiting to be transferred somewhere bigger," the vet said.

The animals would now have access to food and necessary treatment, Khalil said.

Dozens of animals had died at the Khan Yunis zoo, some of starvation, and badly stuffed bodies of dead crocodiles, lions and others were left in the open, surrounded by piles of bones.

Four Paws says on its website that Khan Yunis had "been known as the worst zoo in the world since it became public last year that the zoo was crudely mummifying the animals that died in their care and displaying them."

There were more than 100 animals housed at the zoo in the years after its 2007 opening, but they were decimated by repeated wars and shortages of customers.

The Israeli blockade of the enclave and Egypt's closed border have suffocated its economy, making it increasingly hard for Gazans to find money for leisure.

Here are some photos of the animals evacuation.

Veterinarian Amir Khalil from Four Paws International carries an anaesthetised monkey as he brings it for treatment at a zoo in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Credit:

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A monkey looks out of a crate on a truck as it waits to leave Gaza after it was evacuated by Four Paws International, at Erez Crossing between Israel and northern Gaza Strip. Economic hardship deepened by war with Israel brought death to most of the menagerie of 200 at the privately owned complex in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the enclave.

Credit:

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Crates containing animals are carried to be taken out of Gaza by Four Paws International, at a zoo in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Credit:

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A member of Four Paws International team carries a pelican to be taken out of Gaza, at a zoo in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Some were destined for new homes in sanctuaries in Israel and Jordan, and the tiger will be flown to Four Paws' Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa.

Credit:

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A pelican which was taken out of Gaza by Four Paws International sits inside a crate after arriving in Amman, Jordan. 

Credit:

Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

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