Zoo animals are starving to death along with people in war-torn Gaza. Reuters reported on the plight of animals at a zoo in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.
Israel has been attacking Gaza for more than 12 weeks. After taking control of the northern part of the valley, Israeli forces are currently conducting operations in the central and southern areas. About 22,000 people have been killed and all of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are fleeing their homes. Most people are now fleeing south to the town of Rafah near the Egyptian border.
There is no empty space anywhere in the streets or fields of Rafah city. Even many people from different parts of Gaza have taken refuge in a zoo in Rafah. Inside the cage, hungry monkeys, lions and parrots are crying out for food with intense hunger. People have taken shelter in a line of plastic tents next to those cages.
The zoo is privately owned. It is looked after by members of a family called Goma. Adel Goma, a member of that family, said, “Many families have been completely destroyed in the war. Our whole family is living inside this zoo.’
Ahmed Goma, the owner of the zoo, said that four monkeys have already died. Another is so weak that even when food is presented to him, he cannot eat by himself. He is also worried about the survival of two lion cubs.
Ahmed said, ‘We are only feeding them dry bread soaked in water to keep them alive. I can’t give anything else. The situation here is really sad. The mother of the two lion cubs has been weakened by lack of food since the war broke out. Earlier he used to eat chicken every day. Now after weeks of starvation only dry bread is available.’
Rafah Zoo Veterinarian Safian Abdin said that animals are dying or getting sick every day.
A UN report last week said residents of Gaza are on the brink of famine. The entire population is starving. This is because all food, medicine, electricity and fuel imports to Gaza have been stopped since the start of the war due to Israel’s blockade. Now only relief vehicles can enter Gaza with the permission of Israeli forces. That too is very less than required. Many Palestinians in Gaza now do not eat even one meal a day.