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Hope for Khartoum lions as experts arrive to help

Sudan

There’s hope for malnourished lions in Sudan as a team from Four Paws, the global animal welfare organisation arrived in Khartoum Monday to access the conditions of the cats and other animals.

Big cat expert Juno van Zon said the aim was to probe the plight of the animals and determine, with local vets, what could be done to help them.

“The purpose of the visit here is first to check out the animals. It’s always difficult to only say from the camera what’s going on, so we are here now with the team to make an assessment how the animals are doing. And our purpose of our visit here is that hopefully we can – together with the cooperation of the wild animal department – that we can perform fact checks and see with local veterinarians here what we can do to improve the condition of the animals that are here”, Zon said.

Our intention and objective is to visit other zoos and help and to have long-term solutions for this animal as well as current and urgent first aid for this animal.

Four Paws veterinarian Dr. Amir Khalil added that the team wanted to make sure there were long-terms solutions, and not just emergency measures.

“Our intention and objective is to visit other zoos and help and to have long-term solutions for this animal as well as current and urgent first aid for this animal, but we plan to do so in other locations in Khartoum”, Dr. Khalil noted.

Locals concerned about the fate of the lions have been helping to bring food and medical items.

But people abroad who tried to donate via crowdfunding sites were thwarted by U.S sanctions on Sudan.

Earlier this month, the release of still images of the malnourished lions languishing in an animal park in Khartoum, sparked global concern for the animal’s welfare.

Staff at the zoo were unable to feed and care for the lions. Many died or were evacuated, leaving only three skeletal lions, including a lioness.

Four Paws, the global animal welfare organisation, said the big cats at the Al Qurashi Family Park in the Sudanese capital, were on the brink of starvation and victims of the country’s political turbulence.

AP

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