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Zoo animals suffering in Syria's 2-year unrest

10-16-2013 05:39 BJT Special Report: Crisis in Syria |

By CCTV correspondent Alaa Ebrahim

Syria has been witnessing violent unrest for over 2 years now, and the war isn’t just affecting people, but also, the animals.
 
This mighty beast is lying sick on the ground, named Layth it is the oldest lion in the only remaining functional zoo in Damascus. At the age of 13 Layth needs all the medical attention he can get.

In this Damascus zoo; it is business as usual but no visitors are here to look at the animals; veterinarians tend to animals and give medications at time and meat is delivered to tigers and other animals. Syria isn’t a natural habitat for many of these animals but this doesn’t stop this tiger of enjoying his meal.

Syria has been witnessing violent unrest for over 2 years now, and the war isn’t just
affecting people, but also, the animals.

"Keeping this place running isn’t easy but we can do it because we are a government establishment, many of the other zoos sent their animals to us and we take care of them; we have veterinarians on the staff and we get daily rations of buffalo meat and grains to feed the animals," zoo manager said.

"The animal behavior is changing because of the war; they hear shells and explosions and it affects how they eat and deal with each other, they are more dangerous now," a veterinarian said.

On the other hand this is Osa the latest addition to the zoo, the 5 month old cub was born here and chances are that he would never see the jungle and will be unlike any other lion there as he is the only lion familiar to the sound of shells: born to them Osa doesn’t react when a shell goes off.

"We feed them sterilized meet and wash them daily, I have been working with the lions and tigers for 4 years now and I name every one of them. The animals have changed because of the fighting; they are more tense and they attack each other when the sound of bombing is too strong sometimes hurting one another," zoo keeper said.

The lions sit around and wait, waiting for the sounds of fighting to stop and for the people to start coming back to the zoo. However, no one knows how long will they wait for.

Life goes on as usual in Damascus, not just for the people but also for the animals; this zoo right here is creating an island of normality in the sea of war that Syria is witnessing nowadays.


 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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