This is one of the most inhumane things we have ever seen.
One of the lions reportedly died at Al-Qureshi Park in Khartoum, Sudan on Monday. While this would be a sad event for any reason, the idea it was easily preventable is truly tragic.
According to reports, the lions at this zoo are being kept in small cages and haven’t received proper food or medication for weeks. As a result the poor cats are starving to death.
Much of the awareness of the lions’ plight is thanks to a man named Osman Salih. The Sudanese local was walking past the park when he saw the condition of the lions; he wrote in a Facebook post over the weekend:
“I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park… Their bones are protruding from the skin.”
He posted photos of what he saw, and they are just heartbreaking.
[WARNING: These images of malnourished animals are very upsetting!]
مشيت بالصدفة لحديقة القرشي في خرطوم ٣ وانصدمت بوجود خمسة اسود منتهين عبارة عن جلد على عظم وفي واحد اتوفى قريب بسبب الجوع والإهمال 😟 الأسود دي محتاجه جهه تهتم بيها وتوفر ليهم الأكل الكافي وتعالجهم وإلا للاسف برضو حيموتو#لم_تسقط_بعد#حنبنيهو@SudanPMHamdok pic.twitter.com/SSJ26Lscud
— Osman Salih (@0smanSalih) January 18, 2020
Salih didn’t just get upset and move on with his day; he started an online campaign called #SudanAnimalRescue in an effort to save the poor animals.
In a followup post, he called animal lovers around the world to action, writing:
“We have consulted a number of veterinarians and wildlife specialists on the topic of treatment, which requires effort and follow-up to the health conditions of the lions, and there is a group of young people inside and outside the country who have the desire to provide assistance. The invitation is open to all who are interested in wildlife and all who believe in animal rights. They can provide us with the necessary assistance.”
On Sunday, volunteers and journalists visited to park to see for themselves.
It was there park workers revealed the lions had been getting worse for weeks; some had lost as much as two thirds of their body weight! Sudan is in an economic crisis in which food prices have skyrocketed. Park manager Essamelddine Hajjar told the Guardian:
“Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them.”
But Salih explained it’s not just about the starvation:
“The issue is not simply food but most importantly the animals need detailed and special treatment to rid them of infections and issues probably brought about from infested meat and poor diet.”
Sadly it was too late for one of the female lions. On Monday morning, Salih shared the news she had passed:
للأسف الشديد اللبوة ماتت. اللبوه التانية مستجيبة للأدوية. والأسد كويس.
— Osman Salih (@0smanSalih) January 20, 2020
There is not yet a way to donate, but it’s coming. Salih wrote to those who had been moved by the photos:
“Whatever procedure or service we cannot provide on our own without consulting the wildlife police, we ask everyone who wants to help to wait until we are authorized and get permission to provide medical treatment and food. Then we will be in a position to present plan of action and draft rough plan for donations and support.”
Salih submitted the paperwork to start a partnership with FOUR PAWS International, who he says will send “an emergency rescue to rehabilitate the animals not only at Qurashi zoo but other parks in Sudan as well as train staff at wildlife authority.”
He also left us with an extremely affecting statement we hadn’t considered:
“It is extremely important to note that after this post it has come to our attention that many other parks are in the same poor state. So we hope this initiative can reach out to all wildlife parks and sanctuaries. “
Of course. All of the wildlife parks in the Sudan must be going through the same hardships. And they aren’t the only nation in crisis… So sad.
[Image via Osman Salih/Twitter.]
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