Brave animal rescuers enter the most dangerous city on the planet to rescue a besieged lion and a bear!
The brave team braved sniper fire and also deadly missiles to bring urgent veterinary care and also food for the last two animals in the Mosul’s zoo.
With explosions echoing across this bomb-damaged landscape, the rapid response team from an animal charity FOUR PAWS tended the sickly animals living out a miserable existence in this was commandeered by ISIS, the terrorist group.
The fanatical militants actually used the forlorn big cat as a propaganda weapon during its occupation of Mosul. They called its fighters “lions” and the younger fanatics “cubs” and were also charging visitors to see the animal pacing about in its enclosure.
Today the lion is in a bad condition with poor teeth and also joint problems. He is also very traumatized after the death of its mother recently. She was one of many victims of the starvation and also bombings. Bombs almost destroyed the entire zoo in the fierce fighting as Iraqi-government forces launched its offensive to liberate Mosul.
When the brave FOUR PAWS response team made it through the war zone on Tuesday they actually found the bear and the lion in a “disastrous state”. They were looking miserable and really suffering from diseases brought on by malnutrition and lack of veterinary care too. Remarkably enough, a handful of Mosul’s remaining occupants kept the animals alive in recent weeks. The Montazah Al-Morour Zoo in Eastern Mosul was on the front line for over three months.
The FOUR PAWS team, led by Dr Amir Khalil, got permission by the authorities to enter the zoo.
Dr Khalil says: “FOUR PAWS is the first animal welfare organization to get permission to enter the city of Mosul. We are really happy that we managed to provide the bear and the lion with the urgently needed help, food and water.
“While performing a vet check we could hear blasts of missiles in the remote parts of the city. We managed to give the animals first aid and provide them with some food and water. We had to leave the area before it gets dark”. He adds “The risk is still really too high. We even saw some leaflets warning of upcoming terrorist attacks there”. “The health condition of these animals is still very far from good. The care we gave them should help them to overcome the hardest time and until we rescue them for good”.