Lions, tigers, bears from war-torn Syria evacuated to JordanAugust 11, 2017 4:56pm

SOUF, Jordan (AP) — Thirteen animals that had been trapped in harsh conditions in a zoo in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo were evacuated on Friday to a wildlife reserve in Jordan.

Five lions, two tigers, two bears, two hyenas and two dogs were being released into the Al-Ma'wa reserve near the town of Souf in northern Jordan.

The Austrian-based animal charity Four Paws had rescued the animals from the Magic World zoo in Aleppo with help from Turkey. The group said the zoo's owner, who fled Syria after the 2011 outbreak of civil war there, granted permission to take the animals.

Some of the animals are fine, while others suffer from blindness as well as heart, liver and kidney disease, said Dr. Amir Khalil, a vet for the charity.

One of the lions is due to give birth within two weeks, he said.

"It was a very difficult mission," said Khalil. "The team calls it 'mission impossible' because it's one of the most dangerous and volatile places on earth, military conflict, a lot of rebels, and it's not easy to take wild animals from such places."

Khalil said the animals spent the last three weeks in cages, during their transport from Syria to Turkey and then Jordan.

"We are very happy today to release these animals so they can touch the ground, touch the grass and I think this is a very fine feeling which we like," he said. "It's a message of hope for the people in Syria and around the world. It's peace."

Syria's conflict erupted in 2011, quickly transforming from a popular uprising against President Bashar Assad into a brutal civil war. An estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting. More than 5 million Syrians have fled their homeland and millions more were uprooted inside Syria.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

FILE - This June 20, 2014 file photo taken by an automatic trail camera provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an adult female grizzly bear in the Cabinet Mountains in northwest Montana near Canada. A federal judge ruled Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 that the small population of grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered endangered even if they are not on the brink of extinction. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen’s order reversed the 2014 re-classification by U.S. wildlife officials for 40 to 50 bears of the Cabinet-Yaak bear population under the federal Endangered Species Act.  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)
Judge: Bears near US-Canada border merit endangered status
Lebanon says it has driven IS from most of Syria border areaThe Lebanese military says it is now in control of over 80 percent of the areas previously held by the Islamic State group along the border with Syria, only days after launching a broad offensive there
Dozens killed in airstrikes on Syrian city of RaqqaSyrian state media and opposition activists say airstrikes on the northern city of Raqqa have killed dozens of civilians
FILE - In this file photo taken Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, rhinos graze in the bush on the edge of Kruger National Park in South Africa. Lawyers for a rhino breeder in South Africa say bidding will start Wednesday in an online auction of 264 rhino horns after a court ordered the government to hand over a permit allowing the sale to proceed. Conservation groups believe it will lead to a surge in rhino poaching that has occurred at record levels in the past decade. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File)
South African rhino breeder readies online auction of horns
Officials: Do not eat fish caught in Shenango RiverState officials are warning people not to eat fish caught in a stretch of a western Pennsylvania river after tests found extremely high levels of a potentially dangerous chemical
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2015 photo, ribs show on a malnourished wild horse in an enclosure at the Oliver Ranch near Red Rock Canyon, Nev. Officials at a wild horse summit in Salt Lake City said Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, that swollen populations of federally-protected mustangs roaming 10 Western states are starved and damaging rangelands, leaving some officials to recommend killing or selling the animals to reduce herds. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP, File)
Critics: Utah horse meeting is secretive 'slaughter summit'

Related Searches

Related Searches