An international charity on Wednesday removed 15 animals from a Gaza Strip zoo, freeing them from stifling conditions in what it called “the worst zoo in the world” and hoping to grant them a better life abroad. Four Paws, an animal welfare group, crossed from Gaza into Israel with a tiger, five monkeys, a porcupine and an emu, among others. Most of the animals are destined for an animal sanctuary in Jordan while the tiger is headed to a refuge in South Africa.
The animals’ removal effectively closed the long-troubled zoo.
The charity said the Khan Younis zoo suffered financial difficulties earlier this year and couldn’t provide the animals with proper care and food. After the zoo owner asked the organization for help, Four Paws provided food and medical checks. It was later decided that the animals would be transferred elsewhere.
“The conditions the animals were under were very far from ideal,” said Amir Khalil, who is leading the Gaza mission for Four Paws. Their new homes will be “a big change.” (AP/Reuters)
Photos: (from top) REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, 3, Nidal Alwaheihi/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images