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Mosul’s last zoo animals receive emergency food from FOUR PAWS

Mosul’s last zoo animals receive emergency food from FOUR PAWS


SYDNEY/MOSUL, Iraq 23.02.2017 – FOUR PAWS has provided emergency food and urgent veterinary care to a bear and a lion at the Montazah Al-Morour Zoo in Eastern Mosul, Iraq. The bear and lion are the only remaining animals at the zoo after being on the front line of an armed conflict between ISIS and the Iraq army for three months. FOUR PAWS is the first animal welfare organisation allowed to enter the city of Mosul.


A FOUR PAWS Rapid Response Team entered Mosul on Tuesday to find the bear and lion in a shocking state. Both animals are suffering from diseases caused by malnutrition and a lack of veterinary care. The bear has contracted pneumonia and the lion has a painful joint condition. The teeth of both animals require treatment. On arrival, the FOUR PAWS team and local volunteers immediately provided the animals with food and first aid and the animal’s cages - filled with debris - were cleaned for the first time in three months.


Team leader Dr Khalil explained: “FOUR PAWS is the first animal welfare organisation to receive permission to enter the city of Mosul. We are happy that we managed to provide the bear and the lion with the urgently needed help.”


Local volunteer, Al Hakam Anas Zarari stated: “The animals have desperately needed veterinary care and I didn’t believe that they would get it in time. Under the circumstances, it would have been very optimistic to expect someone to come and help. I am very thankful to FOUR PAWS for their efforts.”


The nearly 40 other animals that had inhabited the zoo have suffered a dreadful fate. A bomb strike killed many animals and ripped open cages, resulting in tropical birds, monkeys and rabbits escaping. Some animals, including three bear cubs were either eaten by hungry predators or died of starvation. The remaining lion's mother also died recently, and was buried in a grave next to his cage.


Dr. Khalil: “While performing a vet check we heard blasts of missiles in the remote parts of the city. We managed to give the animals first aid and provide them with food, but we had to leave the area before dark. The risk is still too high – we even found some leaflets warning of upcoming terrorist attacks.”


The food and medicine provided will be enough for at least the next four weeks. The food will be distributed with the help of local volunteers.