Rapid Response for Animals

FOUR PAWS operates a rapid response, highly skilled expert unit equipped to help animals in the face of wars or in conflict zones. Our team of veterinarians, rescue workers and crisis managers is trained to work under such circumstances and operates worldwide.

Our Work & Missions

sad tiger in need

Mission in Argentina for two tigers:

A request for support from the authorities in Argentina brought FOUR PAWS back to South America to carry out an extremely critical and challenging rescue mission. Two tigers from an illegal private breeding farm in Balcarce in the Buenos Aires province in Argentina needed to be rescued and relocated. Together with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, FOUR PAWS is working to do this. Follow our mission and learn more about the plight of these tigers.

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Emergency mission in Pakistan for Noor Jehan: #KarachiElephants

Since our evaluation in August 2022 with our recommendation to relocate the two zoo elephants, nothing has been done. Heartbreaking footage from the Karachi Zoo shows Noor Jehan in critical health condition! She can hardly put weight on her hind limbs – this body posture indicates that she is in excruciating pain. Our team arrived in Karachi and rushed to the Zoo to advise on Noor Jehan’s condition. Follow the tragic story of Noor Jehan here and what are we doing to help other captive wild animals like her here.


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Mission in Sudan: #SaveSudanLions

The starving lions Kandaka and Mansour were rescued from the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo in Khartoum in 2020. Although their general health condition has stabilised, both lions have suffered irreversible damage to their organs. Because of the pandemic, FOUR PAWS could not enter Sudan since then. But now, the lions are finally rescued to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife where they can get the specialised treatments and ongoing monitoring. Find out more about how helped these lions.

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Mission to Ukraine: #FoodForAnimals 

FOUR PAWS continues its help for zoos in Ukraine, delivering another 20 tons of food for animals. With this second delivery, we aim to bring relief to the animals and people who are caring for them in the zoos under most difficult circumstances likewise. Find out the details of this mission here.

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Emergency Treatment for Elephants in Pakistan 

FOUR PAWS treated the last four captive elephants in Pakistan from two different zoos. 16 and 17-year-old Madhubala and Noor Jehan, in Karachi Zoo, suffered from extreme dental problems. Using specially designed instruments and performing a dental procedure under standing sedation for the first time in the world, the team successfully operated on their broken tusks and severely inflamed tissue. At Karachi Safari Park, FOUR PAWS treated elephants Malika and Sonu, who suffered from cracked and overgrown nails and footpads and abscesses. Read more about this mission and the outlook for these four patients. 

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When a travelling circus asked a local farmer in San Luis, Argentina to take care of their tigers for 6 months, the 6 months turned to 15 years. Now four abandoned tigers are trapped in cages barely larger than the size of two parking spaces. Their cages are part of an old train carriage that had been left behind and stood still since then.We have a very short window of opportunity to rescue them and show these majestic big cats that they deserve better. Read more here.

Mission to Pakistan

Mission to Pakistan

After a ground-breaking decision from the Islamabad High Court to close down the under-funded Marghazar zoo, an immediate relocation of the remaining animals was planned. Due to inexperienced animal handlers, a harrowing incident happened, where two lions lost their lives from the effects of the fire. Therefore, we were asked to help with the urgent relocation of about 30 animals still suffering in these inappropriate surroundings - a result of mismanagement of the zoo, lack of staff experience and insufficient funding. Together with the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, we successfully managed to relocate all the animals – including elephant Kaavan – our heaviest and most challenging relocation to date! Every minute counted and as usual our team on-site were determined to change the lives of these animals for good. Read more!  

Mission to Lebanon

Mission to Lebanon

On August 4th 2020, a huge explosion devastated Beirut, causing enormous suffering and destruction and leaving the lives of both people and animals in desperate need of help. Confused, starving and dehydrated, many animal are left roaming the ruined streets of Beirut struggling to survive. Read more!

Lioness Kandaka receiving treatment

Mission in Sudan

In mid January, photos of famished lions in a zoo in Sudan circulated the globe and immediately caught our attention. Due to a lack of financial resources, the animals have been left to starve. We were there to help them.


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Mission in Lebanon

FOUR PAWS conducted a mission from 29th November to the 2nd December, in collaboration with 'Animals Lebanon'. Due to the ongoing instability in the country, both privately owned zoos lack the resources to take care of their suffering animals. After the approval from the authorities, the our team, consisting of wildlife veterinarians and animal keepers, travelled to Lebanon to support the two zoos with medical treatments and appropriate food. FOUR PAWS is currently working on a long-term solution for the animals. Watch our video! 

Declawed lioness in Gaza

Mission in Gaza

Over 40 animals were suffering in Rafah Zoo, Gaza. At the beginning of 2019, Gaza's oldest zoo attracted worldwide attention. Four lion cubs froze to death there due to the harsh weather and poor keeping conditions. Only a few weeks later, a 14-month-old lioness was permanently mutilated by the brutal and unprofessional removal of her claws. Almost 150,000 people demanded immediate action - and fortunately, we were able to follow that call. Read more about how we freed 47 animals their cages.

Puppy before rabies vaccination

Pilot project protects animals and humans from life-threatening infections #DontWaitVaccinate

After two months of tireless efforts, the team has vaccinated 58,386 animals. The FOUR PAWS team in Myanmar is celebrating this partial victory against one of the deadliest diseases in the country. Read more why the fight against rabies is a long-term one.


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Mission in Iraq

According to OCHA, over 163,000 people were displaced by end of January 2017 due to military operations to retake Mosul from the Islamic Stat of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). During this period, the zoo staff members were unable to enter the zoo. Nearly all animals  which were not killed by shrapnel, died of starvation or escaped.Simba the lion and Lula the bear – the only animals left alive in Mosul’s zoo – have been evacuated from the war-torn city. FOUR PAWS coordinated the rescue mission, taking Simba and Lula first to the nearby city of Erbil, from where they were flown to Jordan. Simba is now at LIONSROCK in South Africa, while Lula is still in Jordan at the Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife Reserve, a partnership between Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS. Watch our video!

Bear being rescued from amusement park in Aleppo

Mission in Syria

War in Syria has not only forced millions of people to flee their homeland, claimed hundreds of thousands of victims and devastated the country. Countless animals have also lost their lives. The few survivors have vegetated for many months, some even years, in bombed-out zoos. Read more about how we rescued 13 animals from a destroyed the “Magic World” recreational park close to Aleppo.

Tiger at Khan Younis Zoo in Gaza

Mission in Gaza

Years of suffering in desolate cages, starvation and a lack of freshwater: FOUR PAWS conducted an intensive rescue mission to save the remaining 15 animals at Khan Younis Zoo. The FOUR PAWS managed to load the animals and transport them over the border. Read more about the mission.

2015 and before

For more than 30 years the FOUR PAWS rapid response team has helped animals in need!

Amir Khalil remembers all of his missions very well: "We've been to Gaza five times, we've had missions in Egypt during the Arab Spring, Tripoli, Zimbabwe... and have helped several wild animal evacuations from Romania, Bulgaria and other zoos around the world."

Read more about our Missions

Blog Posts, Press Releases, Rescue Stories

FOUR PAWS Rescues 47 Zoo Animals from the Gaza Strip

The largest FOUR PAWS rescue mission to date was preceded by several months of preparations and negotiations


FOUR PAWS takes care of neglected zoo animals in Lebanon

Animals urgently need food and medical treatment


Two lions rescued from Gaza arrive at FOUR PAWS sanctuary in South Africa

Motan and Pisa finally get the chance to heal from their difficult past at LIONSROCK

World Rabies Day: The ultimate fight against rabies in Myanmar continues

World Rabies Day: The Ultimate Fight Against Rabies in Myanmar Continues

FOUR PAWS long-term project aims to vaccinate one million animals by 2022


Lioness’s Claws Amputated with Garden Shears in Gaza's Oldest Zoo

FOUR PAWS demands permanent closure of zoo and relocation of animals

Veterinarian Dr Amir Khalil

World Veterinary Day

Celebrate the world class vets at the helm of our emergency rescue missions


Big Cats from War Zones

In recent years, FOUR PAWS completed successful missions in rescuing big cats from war-torn countries such as Iraq, Gaza and Syria

Lioness at Al Ma'Wa for Nature & Wildlife

Al Ma'wa for Nature & Wildlife

A cooperation project between the Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS in Jordan since 2011

Amir Khalil in Sudan

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