The zoo has been known as ‘the world’s worst zoo’ since it became publically known as the zoo that mummified animals that died in its care. The welfare group, Four Paws, stepped in and has spearheaded the move of the 13 remaining living animals from the zoo to an animal park in Jordan.
Amongst these animals are monkeys, an emu, a pelican and a porcupine, but Laziz, the Bengal tiger, will be flying to South Africa to live in a large enclosure at the Lion’s Rock Big Cat Sanctuary.
A representative from Four Paws said, “Laziz went into his transport crate without hesitation. He even seems to behave more calmly in the crate now than he was in his desolate cage. Laziz has not been anesthetized due to the fact that he will have to get a medical check and move to another crate before departing to South Africa.”
The delicate operation to remove the animals from the zoo began two years ago, when Israeli bombs, sealed borders and a lack of care for the animals meant that they were all suffering, many of them dying.
The horrific story that surrounds the lives of the animals began in 2007 when 90 percent of the animals were smuggled into a sealed territory through tunnels dug by Hamas fighters. The animals were transported through the tunnels on a whim by a man who thought that Palestinians needed a distraction form their lives and thought that the animals would provide that distraction.
Dr. Khalil supervised the evacuation of the zoo because he was ‘deeply saddened’ by what they had gone through. “At least we are happy now to know that those who made it through will have a better life.”