Published On: Wed, Aug 24th, 2016

Welfare group removes 15 animals it rescued from Gaza zoo

Four Paws, an animal welfare group, moved a tiger, a deer, monkeys and turtles among other animals with the help of the Israeli Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza; one baby deer, which was also meant to be transferred, died before the exodus.

The tiger is heading to South Africa (Photo Four Paws)

An international charity completed on Wednesday an operation to remove 15 animals rescued from the Gaza Strip’s main zoo, dubbed “the worst in the world.”

Four Paws, an animal welfare group, will resettle the animals from the Khan Younis zoo abroad, where they will be given a chance to live a better life. The rescue was announced last week.


The baby deer died shortly before the exodus (Photo Four Paws)


The removal of the animals precipitated the closure of the zoo. Most of the animals are headed to Jordan while a tiger will be resettled in South Africa.

Four Paws received assistance from the Safari in Ramat Gan, which provided the cages used to transfer the tiger, and from Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Israeli border authority.


A guenon monkey heading to his new home (Photo COGAT)Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (5)


The rescued animals include five guenon monkeys, an emu, a pelican, a porcupine, two ostriches, turtles and a deer. The team initially had two deers, but one, a baby deer, died ahead of the evacuation.

”This tragic incident shows how urgent the emergency situation at Khan Younis really is”, Four Paws vet and mission leader Dr. Khalil said. “The supply situation and infrastructure are in such a bad state that the animals’ lives are at high risk. We need to get them out of here urgently.”


A turtle being removed from the zoo (Photo COGAT) Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (4)


The Khan Younis zoo has made headlines in the past for the difficult conditions under which the animals are forced to live.

“Due to their poor condition and the inability to keep the animals at the Khan Younis zoo, we were asked to assist and coordinate the transfer of the animals to zoos abroad, ” said Uri Madar, the agriculture coordinator in the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza. “Over the past two years, we’ve transferred five adult lions, young lions, a horse and other animals.”

A truck carrying the animals on its way out of Gaza (Photo COGAT)  Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories


“In recent years, we transferred dozens of animals from the Gaza zoo to better care elsewhere in Israel and abroad, ” said Shlomo Zaban, the director of the Erez Border Crossing. “We view this activity as an important mission, and we do this out of the desire to aid these animals, that were not receiving the proper care in their last home.”

Ynet News, Associated Press

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