Arbil, Apr 10 (AFP) Simba the lion and Lula the bear, the ailing last two residents of Mosul zoo, were flown out of Iraq today to receive emergency care from an animal welfare group.
A group of veterinarians from the Four Paws International charity took the animals out of Mosul and after an epic administrative saga managed to fly them out to Jordan from the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Arbil.
“We’re in the plane with the animals, we’re leaving now,” said Amir Khalil, a vet who headed the Four Paws mission.
The doctor found the pair covered in dirt and excrement in February, abandoned in their cages at the privately owned Muntazah al-Nour zoo in the eastern half of war-torn Mosul.
Iraqi forces launched a massive operation to retake the city, Iraq’s second largest, from the Islamic State group in October and spent weeks battling the jihadists street by street before eventually retaking the east bank in January.
When Four Paws reached the zoo, nobody had entered their cages in weeks and no other animals apart from the female bear and the male lion had survived. AFP
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.