Tiger in cage in Gaza

'Worst zoo in the world' now history

Zoo animals brought safely out of Gaza, 2016


Years of suffering in desolate cages, starvation and a lack of fresh water: FOUR PAWS conducted an intensive rescue mission to save the remaining 15 animals at Khan Younis Zoo. The FOUR PAWS rescue team managed to load the animals and transport them over the border. Even the porcupines, which had gone missing, were relocated and loaded safely. Porcupines, emu, pelican & co. are now at the New Hope Centre in Jordan. The Centre is part of 'Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife', an organisation run jointly by FOUR PAWS and the Princess Alia Foundation. The five monkeys were transferred to the Primate Sanctuary Foundation in Israel. Tiger Laziz went on a longer journey to the LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. 

Tiger being released at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary

“Laziz remained surprisingly relaxed during the whole transfer as well as his release. There was an unintentionally comic moment when he tried to back out of his box. That didn’t really work out, but finally he managed his first step on the new terrain. He needed a moment, then he started to sniff about and explore his new home.”

Ioana Dungler, Director of the Wild Animals Unit at FOUR PAWS

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Our team members worked at full speed to give all the animals a medical check and load them into the transport crates. The tight time schedule posed a special challenge. And we were worried about whether Laziz would enter his crate without any problems; we definitely wanted to avoid anesthetizing him if not absolutely necessary. But the tiger just went straight into the box as if he knew that we were bringing him to a better home. So many people have closely followed the progress of this mission and shown solidarity with Laziz and the other animals. We are happy that we have been able to finally close down Khan Younis Zoo.

The mission was accompanied by Austrian blogger Madeleine Alizadeh (dariadaria)

Madeleine visited LIONSROCK in 2015 when she accompanied the transfer of six tigers from the FELIDA Big Cat Centre in the Netherlands to South Africa.

“I was able to witness once more how tireless this team is and how important their work. It wasn’t easy, considering the many struggles we were facing in an area like this, but everything worked out well.”

Madeleine Alizadeh

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