Gaza lions sent to Jordan after war damages zoo

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Gaza lions sent to Jordan after war damages zoo
A Palestinian worker loads a metal cage with a lion inside onto a truck at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian worker loads a metal cage with a lion inside onto a truck at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian worker loads metal cages with lions inside, onto a truck at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Members of Four Paws medical team roll a male lion into his side at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Dr. Amir Khalil, Director of Project Development, Four Paws International, checks lions in cage at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A Palestinian worker loads metal cages with lions inside onto a truck at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Members of Four Paws medical team roll a male lion onto his side at Al-Bisan zoo as they prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Members of Four Paws medical team carry a lion at Al-Bisan zo to transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Members of Four Paws medical team settle a male lion into a cage at Al-Bisan zoo at the Al-Bisan zoo, as the team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Dr. Amir Khalil, Director of Project Development, Four Paws International, sedates a lion at the Al-Bisan zoo, as a team prepares a transfer for three lions to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
A lion lays inside a metal cage at Al-Bisan zoo, as a medical team prepares to transfer three big cats to Israel en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war, in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Three lions, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel. Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo’s animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TOM LITTLE A Lion (R) and lioness look on from inside their cage at the Bisan City tourist village zoo, in Beit Hanun on August 14, 2014. The zoo, part of Al-Bisan City, was built by the Hamas government in 2008 as a tourist village, but is now far from relaxing, with the wire of its enclosures twisted and crushed after the strikes, debris and dead animals strewn around, and the remains of militant rocket launchers lying nearby. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TOM LITTLE A Lion (R) and lioness cuddle from inside their cage at the Bisan City tourist village zoo, in Beit Hanun on August 14, 2014. The zoo, part of Al-Bisan City, was built by the Hamas government in 2008 as a tourist village, but is now far from relaxing, with the wire of its enclosures twisted and crushed after the strikes, debris and dead animals strewn around, and the remains of militant rocket launchers lying nearby. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A lioness lies in a cage as it waits to be transferred from the Gaza Strip's Bisan City tourist village zoo to Jordan through the Erez crossing with Israel, on September 30, 2014, in an operation organised by NGO Four Paws. The Bisan zoo was bombed during the latest war between Hamas militants and the Israeli army. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED (Photo credit should read MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TOM LITTLE Farid al-Hissi (L) feeds the lioness and the lion in their cage at the Bisan City tourist village zoo, in Beit Hanun on August 14, 2014. The zoo, part of Al-Bisan City, was built by the Hamas government in 2008 as a tourist village, but is now far from relaxing, with the wire of its enclosures twisted and crushed after the strikes, debris and dead animals strewn around, and the remains of militant rocket launchers lying nearby. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TOM LITTLE Farid al-Hissi scratches the neck of the lioness from outside the cage housing her and a Lion at the Bisan City tourist village zoo, in Beit Hanun on August 14, 2014. The zoo, part of Al-Bisan City, was built by the Hamas government in 2008 as a tourist village, but is now far from relaxing, with the wire of its enclosures twisted and crushed after the strikes, debris and dead animals strewn around, and the remains of militant rocket launchers lying nearby. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TOM LITTLE A lion roars from inside his cage at the Bisan City tourist village zoo, in Beit Hanun on August 14, 2014. The zoo, part of Al-Bisan City, was built by the Hamas government in 2008 as a tourist village, but is now far from relaxing, with the wire of its enclosures twisted and crushed after the strikes, debris and dead animals strewn around, and the remains of militant rocket launchers lying nearby. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) - A trio of scrawny lions was brought into Israel from Gaza on Tuesday en route to a better life at a wildlife sanctuary in Jordan after their zoo was damaged in the recent Israel-Hamas war.

The three, a pair of males and a pregnant female, were sedated at Al-Bisan zoo in Beit Lahiya before the big cats were placed in metal cages and loaded onto a truck that transferred them through the Erez border crossing into Israel.

Amir Khalil of the Four Paws International welfare group said the zoo's animals were in urgent need of care after the 50-day war. He said the zoo was badly damaged and more than 80 animals died as a result of the fighting.

Al-Bisan is one of five makeshift zoos in Gaza that have spotty animal welfare records.

Most of the zoo animals in Gaza have been hauled into the isolated territory through smuggling tunnels linking the territory to Egypt. In one famous scene captured on film, Gazans used a crane to lift a camel over the border fence by one of its legs as the animal writhed in agony.

Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007, when the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power there.

Last year a pair of newborn lion cubs died shortly after they were proudly unveiled by Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Gaza's main zoo once turned to improvised taxidermy to keep its deceased animals on exhibit while another painted stripes on donkeys to try and make them look like zebras.


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