Recently two of the only surviving animals of Mosul Zoo have been rescued form terrible conditions in the conflict-ridden city of Iraq. Simba the lion and Lula the bear were found at the zoo back in February. The zoo is privately owned and the two animals were found in their cages covered in dirt and excrement. Fortunately, a charity called Four Paws International has stepped into rescue the animals and is flying the tiger and the bear to a better life in Jordan.
Many animals already dead
Iraqi troops are trying drive Islamic State militants from Mosul which is the terrorist outfit’s last major urban strong hold in Iraq. After six months of intense combat, there has been plenty of civilian casualties and the war has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. The Montazah al-Morour Zoo was almost completely destroyed during the fight for control of the Eastern half of the city and most of the animals living at the zoo which included rabbits, monkey’s and a lioness either died of starvation or were killed.
The bear and lion had multiple diseases
Amir Khalil a veterinarian of Egyptian and Austrian descent who headed the effort by Four Paws said Simba the lion and Lula the bear were suffering from multiple diseases that were the product of malnutrition and lack of care. When he first laid eyes on them back in February both animals had extremely bad teeth. Simba had ill joints and Lula was suffering pneumonia.
Lots of paper work required to move them
In March Dr Khalil began the process of acquiring the correct paperwork from the Iraqi authorities so that he could transport the animals abroad where they would receive proper care. A couple of weeks later the convoy made its first attempt at getting the animals out of the country by flight. That attempt had to be aborted however, because the lorry carrying the animals we stopped at a checkpoint.
A happy ending hopefully
The lorry was stuck at that roadside checkpoint for a further nine days until additional permits were secured at which point Simba began to exhibit symptoms of a respiratory problems. The plane carrying the two animals to Jordan eventually took off and Dr Khalil in an interview with the AFP news agency said he was pleased that this was the beginning of a new life for the animals and from now on they no longer are part of the war.