KHARTOUM: Heavy fighting in Sudan, which has plunged the nation into chaos and killed hundreds, has also raised fears about the fate of 25 lions and other animals in a wildlife reserve.
The facility said it is without electricity to power safety fences around enclosures and running low on food for the felines, which each require five to 10 kg of meat a day.
Violence broke out in the capital and across Sudan on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
“Firstly, may Allah protect Sudan and the people of Sudan,” said a statement by the Sudan Animal Rescue Center, which went on to warn that the situation at the sanctuary had also become “critical.”
It said it no longer had a permanent staff presence at the sanctuary, located an hour’s drive southeast of Khartoum near a military base that had been rocked by “deadly clashes on a daily basis.”
The sanctuary houses 25 lions and various other animals including gazelles, camels, monkeys, hyenas and birds.
“We are under tremendous pressure due to the current power outage, and our stocks of food and drink are beginning to run out,” it said, adding that one of its vehicles had been stolen.
The power outage had become “a real threat” because the facility relies on electricity to power equipment for the animal enclosures.
“We therefore appeal to all officials and those with the ability to help with the need to intervene ... as soon as possible,” it added in the statement.
Elsewhere in Khartoum, 25-year-old doctor Makram Waleed has built a 1,200-strong WhatsApp community split into groups for the capital’s different districts for people to share information about supplies of basics.
“Whenever I look at a certain area, I find people are actually communicating and we managed to get some people medicine and food,” Waleed said.
The biggest requirement for most people was drinking water, he said, but there were also a lot of requests for medicines, particularly for diabetes and blood pressure.
“We don’t have money or financial aid. We’re just trying to ease communication between people,” said.
With most of Khartoum’s hospitals shut down, and the few still open offering only limited services, medical needs have been intense.