Posted on February 3, 2017 by Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)
Photos – Reuters.
Heartbreaking photos reveal suffering of Mosul zoo animals including a lion and a bear left to starve to death by ISIS
These shocking photos reveal the suffering of Mosul zoo animals after they were left to starve to death by cruel ISIS thugs.
An emaciated lioness was found cowering in a squalid cage and lying on exposed cables at Al-Murur public park after the area was liberated from the terror group.
Another heartbreaking image shows a bear looking mournfully through the rusting bars of its enclosure.
Filed under: CAMPAIGNS - Global Animal Welfare Issues, GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional, PHOTOGRAPHS - **WARNING** (Animal Suffering), ZOO(S) | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 26, 2016 by Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)
UPDATE 28/12 – Petition to sign:
War-Torn Yemen Is Letting Its Zoo Animals Starve to Death
The 265 animals in Yemen’s Taiz Zoo, including rare leopards, haven’t been fed for days. The government is rejecting proposals to save them.
A malnourished lion stares out of a blood- and urine-soaked cage. Eleven lions died of starvation after they were abandoned at Yemen’s Taiz Zoological Gardens in early 2016.
Photograph by Mercury Press, Caters News
By Natasha Daly
PUBLISHED December 21, 2016
War births refugees. Streaming out of blasted-out cities, civilians are forced to flee their homes, sometimes their families, away from the bombs, into the unknown.
What happens when you can’t leave? That’s the story of abandoned zoos in wartime. It’s the story unfolding now for the animals in Yemen’s Taiz Zoological Gardens, neglected in the cross fire of the country’s civil war. Here 28 Arabian leopards, critically endangered in the wild, haven’t eaten in six days. They and nearly 240 other animals face imminent death if they aren’t fed very soon.
The story began early this year when the Yemeni government, which runs the zoo, stopped paying the staff and abandoned the facility in the face of escalating violence. In February, after a media flurry drew international attention to the deteriorating conditions at the zoo, SOS Zoo and Bear Rescue—a rescue organization established on Facebook by Chantal Jonkergouw—began raising funds to cover the cost of food, water, and care for the animals. According to Jonkergouw, who lives in Sweden, SOS has raised more than $125,000 from individual donors during the past ten months.
On November 30 she made the agonizing decision to stop feeding the animals until the government agrees to release them to rescuers. She says they’re still getting fresh water every day.
A local Good Samaritan then stepped in to bring the leopards and other meat eaters food, but he hasn’t been seen since December 16—the last time the carnivores were fed. The zoo’s herbivores have been subsisting on a rapidly diminishing supply of rotten vegetables. According to Bassam Al-Hakimi, SOS’s project manager in Taiz, many of the animals are showing signs of extreme weakness.
These Arabian leopards, critically endangered in the wild, haven’t been fed since December 16.
Photograph by Mercury Press, Caters News
“As they grow hungrier, the stronger ones might prey on the weaker ones,” Jonkergouw says. “Especially the big cats. Stress also can have a very negative effect on the animals’ behavior. Personally, I think that most of them will lie down and die slowly.”
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Taiz, considered Yemen’s cultural capital, has been a flashpoint in the country’s ongoing civil war, a clash between Shia Muslim Houthis and Saudi-backed forces loyal to the nation’s pre-war government. The Taiz zoo became an overlooked casualty of the war after the government lost control of the city and many zoo workers fled the bombings and food shortages that have plagued the region.
A lion wastesaway, abscesses ravaging its body. Facilities in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have offered to rescue the zoo’s animals, but the Yemeni government refuses to allow their evacuation.
Photograph by Mercury Press, Caster News
According to Jonkergouw, before SOS intervened on February, 11 lions and six Arabian leopards had starved to death. “One leopard had eaten its female companion,” she says. The surviving animals were found living in squalor on bare concrete, bloodied, with festering abscesses, feces everywhere. One drastically malnourished lion was found with his hip bone jutting through his skin. Emergency surgery saved his life, barely.
Other animals in the zoo include hyenas, monkeys, birds, porcupines, baboons, and guinea pigs. Many of the creatures have displayed signs of severe zoochosis—a condition that often afflicts animals kept captive in artificial environments and is characterized by obsessive, repetitive behaviors. The din and detritus of war may compound the suffering: In mid-December a nearby building was bombed, spraying shrapnel into the zoo’s grounds.
The proximity of the fighting complicates rescue efforts: Other than the SOS-funded Tamdeen Youth Foundation, a local group that has provided all food, care, and water for the animals, no other organization has been involved on the ground—it’s too dangerous.
The Yemeni government, which now has limited sway in Taiz, has denied the transfer permits that might at least give the animals a chance of being extracted from Houthi territory and brought to another country where they would have hope for long-term survival.
SOS has kept the animals alive at a cost of $4,000 a week, covering food and care and modest salaries for a small staff of six, Jonkergouw says. SOS had just $10,000 left when at the end of last month she decided to cut off the food supplies.
“Without [the Yemeni government] being cooperative towards finding a real solution, I don’t think it’s acceptable any longer” for SOS to provide the funding and care that the government won’t, she says. “They need to feel it. The problem is, it’s at the expense of the animals, but there’s no other option. Whatever we do, the animals will suffer.”
Evacuating so many captive animals from the heart of a war zone would present the Yemeni government with a dangerous logistical challenge, but offers of safe havens have been made.
The Princess Alia Foundation in Jordan and the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in the United Arab Emirates, in conjunction with that country’s Al Ain Zoo, have both said they’d take the animals. It could cost up to $500,000 USD to evacuate the zoo, which would require armed guards to ensure safe exit. Jonkergouw is confident that her organization and others could raise the money with aid from NGOs but emphasizes that Yemen first needs to agree to facilitate an evacuation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, the body that monitors the conservation status of species, has actively been trying to broker an agreement between Yemen and the UAE-based rescue facilities, to no avail yet.
Yemeni government officials have told Jonkergouw that they won’t entertain either offer. “They replied that they will never let the animals out of Yemen and that the animals were well cared for and doing fine. And then I really got pissed,” Jonkergouw says. “I said, why are they fine? I raised $125,000 and paid most of that into this project without getting any real cooperation on a sustainable solution for these animals. So I’m fed up with this. I will stop.”
The Yemeni government, which now has limited sway in Taiz, has denied the transfer permits that might at least give the animals a chance of being extracted.
An official from Yemen’s Environment Protection Authority, which has represented the government in talks with Jonkergouw, did not respond to a request for comment.
The Leopard Factor
There are likely only about 80 wild Arabian leopards left on the planet. The Taiz Zoo has 28, including two cubs born in September. Jonkergouw believes Yemen is reluctant to send the cats to another country, even temporarily, because Arabian leopards, as the national animal, are a source of deep pride.
Any loss of Arabian leopards is devastating, given how rare the species is. Four cubs disappeared from the zoo shortly after SOS stepped in. Zoo officials at the time said they were probably eaten. Jonkergouw raises the possibility that they were stolen and sold on the black market. (The Arabian peninsula has a sizable black market for exotic cats as pets.) After that incident she arranged for a full-time armed guard for the leopards.
Now the very thing keeping the leopards trapped in Taiz—their prized status in Yemen—could be the key to their salvation. If the leopards begin dying of starvation, Jonkergouw hopes the government may relent and allow the transfer of the leopards and all the other animals. “Probably more leopards have to die before they realize that they have to evacuate them,” she says.
She intends to start feeding the animals again as soon as Yemen signs a letter of intent permitting rescue by the facilities in Jordan or the UAE, or outlining an alternative plan. She would rather see the animals euthanized than face death by starvation but doubts that will happen. “I don’t think the zoo will cooperate with euthanizing them,” she says.
Where To Go From Here
The situation is getting more dire by the day. With only two of the original six workers still at the zoo, there aren’t enough hands to keep the cages clean, though starvation will likely kill the animals before sepsis does. No one is currently guarding the leopards.
Gail A’Brunzo, Animal Rescue Manager at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a U.S.-based NGO that rescues and protects animals and their habitats around the world, commends what SOS Zoo and Bear Rescue has been doing to keep the animals alive. She acknowledges that there seems no recourse other than “to cease operations in a last-ditch effort to try and persuade the government to step up. A heartbreaking decision on their part, I’m sure.”
Jonkergouw says she is often asked how she can justify wanting to save animals in a war zone when people are dying and suffering. “It’s humans who put these animals there,” she says. “They’re our responsibility. There’s so much human suffering in the world, and there will be much more in the future. If you take that as the starting point, then you’ll never get to the welfare of the animals. It’s always an excuse to not [act]. It’s our responsibility.”
Natasha Daly is an assistant editor at National Geographic. Follow her on Twitter.
Filed under: GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional, PHOTOGRAPHS - **WARNING** (Animal Suffering), The "Serbian Animals Voice (SAV) ALLIANCE, ZOO(S) | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 25, 2016 by Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)
Past SAV links:
FOUR PAWS rescues all animals from Khan Younis Zoo.
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SUCCESS. Thanks to your outstanding support, the animals of Khan Younis Zoo have been rescued at last.
The FOUR PAWS rescue team arrived in Gaza on Monday to permanently close the zoo, which has been referred to as the ‘worst zoo in the world’.
Sadly, we were heartbroken to learn that one of the animals, the newborn fawn, passed away before our team arrived – once again highlighting the critical nature of our work in Gaza.
Nonetheless, we are happy to report that the 15 remaining animals, including Laziz the tiger, have now been safely transported across the Gaza border into Israel, onwards to a better life.
But the mission will not be complete until every animal has reached their final destination.
Most of the animals will find a new home at the New Hope Center in Jordan. While Laziz will make the longer journey to LIONSROCK, our big cat sanctuary in South Africa.
Watch this space. We’ll be sending a few more emails in the coming days, documenting the rest of the mission.
FOUR PAWS UK
P.S. This mission was only possible because of the kind donations, big and small, of our generous supporters. But our work is never over. Please give today to support this mission and our work with animals around the world.
Donations to help:
Filed under: CAMPAIGNS - Global Animal Welfare Issues, GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional, SUPPORTERS, The "Serbian Animals Voice (SAV) ALLIANCE, ZOO(S) | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 10, 2016 by Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)
They’re trapped in the world’s saddest zoo
Dear Mark, It’s been called the “world’s saddest zoo,” and with good reason. Arctic foxes, beluga whales, walruses, a wolf and a polar bear are shut inside tiny, windowless, virtually barren rooms in the Grandview Mall in Guangzhou, China.
These animals are living in conditions so completely removed from their natural habitats that they represent one of the most distressing examples of animal deprivation I have ever seen.
The belugas swim in murky water. The foxes are malnourished and listless. And the polar bear sits silently day after day as shoppers stop to stare at and pose for selfies with him.
No animal should ever be exploited for entertainment, but the Grandview doesn’t even come close to meeting any internationally recognized standards. It is devastating to see these animals suffer helplessly with shoppers constantly banging on the glass of their exhibits.
HSI is supporting our Chinese partner groups in their petition to the governor of Guangdong and our friends at Animals Asia Foundation to try to help these animals in desperate need. We have already raised a complaint with a Chinese office, and now we need to add your voice to our call for swift and decisive action.
We can’t just leave these animals to languish endlessly.
Thank you for caring about animals.
Andrew Rowan President and CEO Humane Society International
Filed under: CAMPAIGNS - Global Animal Welfare Issues, GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional, GLOBAL PETITIONS - Anything Animal, GLOBAL PETITIONS - Anything Animal, Anywhere !, PHOTOGRAPHS - **WARNING** (Animal Suffering), The "Serbian Animals Voice (SAV) ALLIANCE, ZOO(S) | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 27, 2015 by Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)
Iris Was a Prisoner in Solitary Confinement for Years—Until Now
Imagine being confined in a dark, windowless cell that measures approximately 8 feet by 16 feet, roughly the size of a walk-in closet. Iris didn’t have to imagine it: That’s where the 32-year-old chimpanzee was found at Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo, a seedy roadside zoo in Georgia.
The cell was only cleaned about twice a week (contrary to instructions by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clean it daily), so she often lived amid her own waste. Her meals were slid to her through a slot in the wall, as if she were an inmate at a high-security prison. The tiny cell had nothing for her to climb on, and she had no one to play with and essentially nothing to look at except four blank walls. The picture of abject despair, she was often found huddled under a filthy blanket in the unheated cell and smeared her own faeces on the cell walls.
Occasionally, Iris was allowed into a slightly larger concrete cell, but it was found scattered with feces and dead cockroaches, and spiders crawled among the cobwebs on the ceiling and walls.
After years of solitary confinement and deprivation, Iris was a sorry sight. She was pale and overweight, and her legs were underdeveloped, likely from a lack of opportunities to climb or exercise. She was missing her canine teeth, which likely had been pulled out to make her easier to handle.
But thanks to a generous PETA member, Iris has seen the last of this hell on Earth. Earlier this month, she was transported to the lush tropical Save the Chimps, an accredited sanctuary in Florida.
Just days after arriving at Save the Chimps, Iris was introduced to another rescued chimpanzee named Abdul, and they were immediately smitten with each other, panting and hooting with delight, exchanging kisses and hugs, and grooming each other like old friends. Normally, such introductions take months, but for Iris and Abdul, it was love at first sight. Iris continues to be introduced to more chimpanzees and will soon have the opportunity to live on a large island with plenty of trees and structures for climbing and playing.
PETA has filed legal complaints with several agencies and called on them to investigate Chestatee’s apparent violations of animal-protection and worker-safety laws.
What You Can Do
Boycott all zoos, even ones that misleadingly call themselves “preserves” or “parks.” Roadside zoos don’t have signs out front saying, “Caution: Abused Animals Within.” They are tourist traps that unwitting visitors keep open with their ticket purchases.
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