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Gaza Zoo: Baby deer dies shortly before arrival of FOUR PAWS rescue team



Team on site urgently working to get all remaining animals out of the zoo as soon as possible


Gaza/Amman/Brussels, 22. August 2016  Sad news from Khan Younis Zoo in Gaza: Sadly, the help of the FOUR PAWS rescue team arrived too late for one of the animals. On Thursday, upon his arrival in Amman, Jordan, FOUR PAWS mission Team Lead, veterinarian Dr. Amir Khalil received news from  Gaza that one of the animals, a baby deer, had died. It had been injured and the wound got inflamed so badly that the deer died from complications. Local vets had tried their best to treat the animal immediately, but they unfortunately did not have the necessary expertise and medicine to provide the proper care for the already severely weakened deer, which was kept in a desolate cage under very bad keeping conditions.


”This tragic incident shows how urgent the emergency situation at Khan Younis really is”, says Dr. Khalil. “The supply situation and infrastructure are in such a bad state that the animals’ lives are at high risk. We need to get them urgently out of here.” Additionally, Dr. Khalil had already been informed prior to the arrival of the team on site, that the two porcupines had fled from their enclosures. Dr. Khalil: “We are assuming that they are still somewhere in the area of the zoo and will try to catch them”.


After several hours of waiting at the border to Gaza, the rescue team managed to enter late at night and could assess the zoo for the first time and start logistical preparations this morning. “We need to transfer 15 animals of various species – turtles, long-legged buzzards, a tiger and others – this is a huge organisational effort. We are operating at full stretch,” explains Dr. Khalil. The mission team consists several vets as well as persons responsible for logistics.


The mission goal will of course remain the same emphasizes Dr. Khalil: FOUR PAWS will rescue the zoo animals from Khan Younis and transfer them to new homes. “As long as the animals are not in our care, there won’t be any guarantee for them to survive. This is why we need to put all our efforts into getting them out of here quickly,” says Dr. Khalil.


Arrangements are being made to accommodate most of the animals, such as the tortoises, the pelican and the emu, in Jordan’s ‘New Hope Centre’ for rescued animals. The centre is part of the organisation Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife, which is  run jointly by FOUR PAWS and the Princess Alia Foundation. However, as the facility currently has no enclosure for a big cat, tiger Laziz has a somewhat longer journey ahead. For him, accommodations were made at FOUR PAWS’ Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK in South Africa, which is already a new home to over 100 other big cats from poor keeping conditions. After a familiarisation period in an adaptation enclosure, Laziz will move into a one-hectare enclosure with grassed areas, trees and a pond for bathing.


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