An animal welfare group rescued nine exotic animals—endangered lions, tigers and bears—from a devastated Zoo near the Syrian city of Aleppo, successfully evacuating them to Turkey.
The international animal welfare organization Four Paws, which in April saved three year-old lion Simba, and Lula the bear from the Iraqi city of Mosul, extracted three lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, and two hyenas from Magic World amusement park near Aleppo.
The nine animals arrived safely at a temporary home in an animal protection center in Karacabey, Turkey near the city Bursa. After a quiet first night the team’s veterinarians began comprehensive examinations of the traumatized and emaciated animals. But, more animals remain trapped in the Aleppo amusement park.
In the wake of the fighting and turmoil that ravaged the city over more than four years of conflict, the rescue team is planning to rescue the remaining animals in a subsequent mission to the city; in the meantime, emergency care was provided.
“The journey across Turkey was a tiring affair for all of us. Due to the extreme heat, we had to stop every three to four hours to check on the conditions of the animals and provide them with water,” stated Head of Mission Dr. Amir Khalil. “We are thrilled that we were able to bring the animals safely to their first destination.”