When I first saw this story in the news, I really couldn’t believe it. It took me a long time to gain the courage to read through the articles to understand what they were about. And let’s not mention the horrific pictures.
A zoo called the Khan Younis, located in the Gaza Strip, is being named the most gruesome zoo in the world. The reason for this is because of how the animals have been starving to death. The zoo’s owner has stated this is because there has simply not been enough food for all the animals that were being held in captivity. The conflict that has been occurring between Palestine and Israel is the culprit.
If the deaths of the poor animals are not enough, many have now been filled with stuffing and embalmed, before being returned to their specific enclosures. Since taxidermy in these parts of the world is not advanced, sometimes it is not done correctly. Horrifically, people can pet the dead, stuffed animals, such as a tiger or crocodile sitting stiffly in waiting, the experience of starvation and fatigue tattooed on their expressions for eternity.
There are approximately 65 animals that are still living in the zoo, however, and these include a lion, monkeys and deer. Unfortunately, they are not thriving at all. Tourists slip human snacks not suitable for animals, such as chocolate and bread, through the bars of their enclosures. Added to this, there is no zookeeper who maintains the situation on the grounds. When an animal falls sick, someone has to consult with zoo veterinarians in Egypt to try to gain assistance to treat the animal.
Why is all of this happening? Sadly, there is no government facility that maintains and regulates zoos in the Gaza region, which results in zoos not running properly and the animals suffering. It's shocking to think that animals which could have been living out their lives in the wild have had to suffer because of humans.
*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons