KHARTOUM: Four lions in a rundown zoo in the capital of Sudan, wasting away from hunger, are undergoing lifesaving medical treatment from an international animal rescue organization.
The plight of the rail-thin lions in Al-Qurashi Park in Khartoum set off an outpouring of sympathy and donations from around the world. At least five lions, both male and female, once inhabited the zoo. One lioness died of starvation last week.
On Tuesday, veterinarians and wildlife experts from Vienna-based animal welfare group Four Paws International conducted medical checks at the park, which has fallen on hard times for lack of money and attention.
Amir Khalil, head of the Four Paws emergency mission, said he was “shocked” by the poor state of the lions, their cramped quarters and the park’s general disarray.
“I don’t understand why no one was given the task of feeding them or how authorities could just overlook this,” he said, describing two of the remaining four as in critical condition, “dehydrated ... a third of their normal weight.”
Four Paws faces a daunting task and its two-day trip has been dogged by challenges from the start.
When the team arrived late on Monday, customs agents confiscated most of their luggage and essential medicine, citing a lack of prior approval. The group says it’s operating with just a fraction of its equipment, and scrambling to find local alternatives.
Although the group typically carries out rescue missions, it has no immediate plan to transport the animals in Al-Qurashi to better conditions abroad.