Images of male and female lions, held in small cages in the Al-Qureshi Park in Khartoum, Sudan, have captured the hearts of so many people globally, all shocked by the devastating malnourished state of the lions, with visible signs of their bones protruding from their skin and being kept in atrocious conditions.
The sad state of these lions was first highlighted by Osman Salih, a Sudanese national, which then went viral online, leading to much needed attention being focused on the matter and subsequently, FOUR PAWS sent a rescue team, consisting of international wildlife experts and veterinarians, to help.
The big cats and other animals were left to starve in the Al Qurashi Family Park due to a lack of resources in an already unfortunately politically problematic country.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, African lions are listed as a “vulnerable” species, with an estimated 20,000 alive today across the continent. This is not so many in the grand scheme of things and hence why it is so important to try and save as many as we can and why it is heart-wrenching to see lions kept in such a heinous state.
Sadly, one of the lionesses died at the park before FOUR PAWS were granted access and could get there in time but since arriving, The FOUR PAWS team, led by FOUR PAWS veterinarian Amir Khalil, have been working around the clock to give the remaining lions and other animals urgent medical care, proper diagnosis and food to help improve their situation.
Two of the lions, Mansour and Kandaka who were worse for wear, have been responding positively to therapy and are looking much better and appear to eagerly wait for their meals, as well as starting to recognize the FOUR PAWS team and local volunteers. There is a visible improvement, reduced lethargy and their fur condition is improving, which is such a positive.
Their strength, desire and will to survive is incredible and so inspiring!
The other two lions are in much better overall condition than Kandaka and Mansour as they have been in the zoo for only two months. However, the female is showing intestine issues due to improper feeding and both have been treated against parasites, vaccinated, and microchipped.
During their examination local veterinarians have been able to gain experience working with one of the leading world experts on wildlife: Dr. Frank Goeritz.
The wildlife authorities announced that Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo will be closed down.
FOUR PAWS along with local trained volunteers and supporters will continue their care of the animals, providing food and medical treatments.
There are also two Hyenas at the park, which was initially stated to be a male and female. During the vet check, the team got several surprises. The “male” hyena turned out to be female, about 4 to 5 years old. Additionally, the ultrasound scans confirmed one of them is pregnant with three cubs and is currently at the beginning of her third trimester.
Vets Amir Khalil and Frank Goeritz also confirmed that both hyenas’ teeth are in bad condition and the wild animals have worn out the pads of their paws due to the concrete cages. The second hyena is also female and a bit older, 6 to 8 years old. The two have received antiparasitic treatments, vaccines, infusions, and have also been microchipped. This vet check served as one of a series of practice sessions Dr. Goeritz offered for young Sudanese veterinarians.
They are working closely with the wildlife authorities in Sudan to find a sustainable solution for the animals. Currently, following their assessment they have not found species-appropriate zoos or parks in the country fitting for Mansour, Kandaka and the hyenas.
FOUR PAWS will continue to work hard on finding a sustainable solution for the animals.
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