Help arrived just before these two animals were likely about to die.

Recently, reports of failing zoos from countries that are riddled with war have been flooding alternative news sites in an effort to bring awareness to the unlikely victims of war. The latest is from a zoo in Mosul, Iraq where only two more animals, a lion and a bear, were found alive when help arrived.

The zoo is in an area that was a hotspot for rebel activities, with ISIS even using the location as an impromptu military base, likely to prevent the Iraqi Army from wanting to bomb their station. The war still took its toll on the small zoo, eventually killing nearly all of its residents, including monkeys, rabbits, and a lioness.


The battle lasted about 4 months, at which time there was no one around to properly care for the animals. Before ISIS took over, neighbors were bringing by scraps of food even as they themselves starved to death, but then were forced to flee and leave the animals behind as the war worsened.


Dr. Sulaim Tameer Saeed, founder of the Kurdistan Organization for Animal Rights Protection, was able to briefly help the animals before the Iraqi Army relinquished their hold on the area and ISIS left the premises. He was able to send two shipments of chicken meat, food, and vegetables for the remaining animals.

“On February 2, I got an email from some people inside Mosul asking [for] emergency help for three animals, two lions and one bear, remaining without food more than 60 days,” Saeed told The Dodo.


Unfortunately, the lioness died shortly before rescuers returned to the area and only the male lion and bear were left. Four Paws International sent a team to feed and treat the animals, who had definitely not left their enclosures in months and received no medical care for even longer.

“Although alive, both animals look miserable and are suffering from many diseases caused by malnutrition and lack of veterinary care,” the organization said. “Both the bear and the lion have very bad teeth, in addition the bear suffers from pneumonia and the lion has ill joints.”



Four Paws provided the Simba the lion and Lulu the bear with first aid treatment in addition to the food they secured for them for the next month. If you would like to help the organization provide extended care for these animals, you can donate here.