Starving Lion and bear rescued from abandoned zoo in ruined Isis stronghold

Lion and bear rescued from abandoned zoo in war-torn Mosul

The lion and bear have been rescued

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The last two surviving animals at a zoo in the ruined Isis stronghold of Mosul have been rescued.

A lion and a bear were the only two animals to have survived at the Motazah al-Morour Zoo. Just a few months ago there were more than 50 animals there.

Both survivors were found to be suffering illness from starvation and were close to death, according to ITV.

They were rescued by international animal welfare charity Four Paws and have now been taken to Jordan.

The pair, named Lula and Simba, were first removed from the zoo on March 28, but the lorry the animals were being transported in was detained for two weeks at a checkpoint in Mosul.

Negotiations then took place and the lion and bear were then able to get to The New Hope Centre in Jordan on Monday (April 10).

Doctor Amir Khalil, a vet who led the mission, said: "This is a beginning of a new life for the animals. From now on, they won't have to be part of this war."

Mosul was Isis' first major stronghold in Iraq in 2014 and, although the militant group has now been driven from large parts of the city, fighting continues between militants and government troops.

Thousands of people have left the city due to the fighting, which has also caused scores of civilian deaths and reduced vast tracts of the city to rubble.