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Israel helps evacuate animals as ‘world’s worst zoo’ in Gaza closes – convoy of animals comes to Israel where they are SAFE


A southern Gaza facility deemed the “worst zoo in the world” has now closed its doors, following the successful transfer of 15 animals across the border into Israel.

The animals – Laziz the tiger, five monkeys, one emu, one pelican, one deer, two porcupines, two long-legged buzzards and two turtles – were rescued from desolate conditions by the Vienna-based Four Paws International, which has long described the Khan Younis Zoo as the worst in the world.

After making their way from Gaza to Israel through the Erez Crossing, the animals will be heading to their final destinations in Jordan, Israel and South Africa.

“A special challenge was the tight time schedule we had available,” said Dr. Amir Khalil, a veterinarian and the mission leader for Four Paws.

“We were quite worried if Laziz would go into his transport crate without any issues; we definitely wanted to avoid anesthetizing him if not absolutely necessary,” Khalil continued. “But the tiger just went straight into the box as if he knew that we will bring him to a nice home. We were so relieved.”

Laziz the tiger will be heading to be heading to the Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa, home to more than 100 other big cats, according to Four Paws.  The five monkeys, including a pregnant female, will be staying in Israel at the Ben Shemen Monkey Park’s sanctuary.

Meanwhile, the porcupines, emu, pelican and all the other animals are on their way to Jordan’s New Hope Center – part of the Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife sanctuary, run jointly by Four Paws and the Princess Alia Foundation.

While Four Paws conducted the rescue operation itself, the transfer of the animals was made possible through the collaborative work of Israeli and Palestinian bodies: the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories


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