Animal Rights

Zoo Animals Starved To Death, Left To Mummify (Photos)

| by Sean Kelly
A mummified zoo animal A mummified zoo animal

A Gaza zoo garnered backlash for the horrifying conditions that left animals starved to death and ultimately mummified.

The privately run Khan Younis zoo in Gaza has been virtually empty for the past year because of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with staff unable to feed or care for the nearly 40 animals on the property, the Daily Mail reports.

The zoo was opened in 2007 by Mohammed Awaida, who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the facility. Awaida lost a number of animals during the attacks against Hamas, and the years of struggle have left the animals to starve and decay.

Awaida ultimately decided to use his taxidermy skills to mummify the deceased animals.

"The idea to mummify animals started after the Gaza war because a number of animals like the lion, the tiger, monkeys and crocodiles died," he said. "So we asked around and we learned from the Web how to start."

Formaldehyde and sawdust were just two of the basic tools used to preserve the animals.

Khan Younis is one of five zoos in the Gaza Strip. Because of the tense situation, there is no government in the area.

Toward the end of 2015, animal protection organization Four Paws delivered enough food for four weeks.

"The new feed supply was urgently needed, but it is still only a small drop in the ocean," Dr. Amir Khalil, who organized the delivery, said at the time. "FOUR PAWS will continue to work on a sustainable solution for all wild animals in Gaza.

"But for this reason, all affected authorities in Gaza and Israel as well as the owners of the animals need to cooperate.”

Four Paws was planning to supply food and medicine to another desperate Gaza zoo.

"We would like to help all zoo animals, but we only have limited resources," Khalil said. "We have already started an international call for donations and are urgently asking for support."

Sources: Daily Mail, Huffington Post UK / Photo credit: Exclusivepix Media via Daily Mail

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