A zoo in the war-torn city of Mosul once had a multitude of animals, but under ISIS rule, only a bear and a lion are left.
Nour Park in Iraq, the location of the zoo, was turned into a staging ground for ISIS militants. Abu Omar, the park’s owner, told Reuters there was a guard who used to feed the animals, but this stopped during the battle, which lasted for three or four months.
As a result, all but two animals were killed, starved to death or escaped.
But yesterday, a team of vets from international charity Four Paws visited the zoo, providing veterinary care and food for the remaining lion and bear.
People living nearby would bring leftovers to the animals while ISIS had control over the city, but many people did not have enough or struggled to find food for themselves.
When the fighting became too violent, people were not able to leave their homes.
The park, which also has colourful children’s rides, sits in the eastern half of the city that has recently been retaken by Iraqi forces. Unexploded bombs have been found still strewn around the park where neighbourhood children play.
#MosulZoo: A FOUR PAWS team accompanied by local volunteers are on site to provide the last two wild animals, a bear and a lion, with food and medical care. Although alive, both animals look miserable and are suffering from many diseases caused by malnutrition and lack of veterinary care. Both have very bad teeth, in addition the bear suffers from pneumonia and the lion has ill joints. The cages were cleaned and the bear and the lion were provided with the urgently needed help!
Posted by FOUR PAWS International on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Earlier this month, volunteers sent by the Kurdistan Organization for Animal Rights Protection brought the first food the animals have seen in a month.
Nearly 30 days later, Four Paws has brought the animals enough food to last them the next four weeks. The organisation, based in Vienna, Austria, said they are currently looking into the possibilities of continuing future treatment on the animals.