Several wild animals, including lions and crocodiles, were left to be starved to death and were left to be mummified in the world’s worst zoo. They are now only horrifying statues, resembling human cruelty.
Several horrifying images were found showing mummified corpses of animals that were left to be starved to death. These photographs were taken from the zoo named Khan Younis, which is located in Gaza Strip. The animals were not being fed by the zoo authorities because of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, since the staff of the zoo was not able to take care of them properly.
The Zoo was opened by Mohammed Awaida in 2007, and vast amounts of money were invested into it. However, many of the animals were lost during the Israeli attacks against Hamas in the following year. During the conflict, Awaida and his staff were unable to reach the zoo, and thus many animals died from starvation. This was repeated in 2014, where another conflict was undertaken in the Gaza region which was named as Operation Protective Edge. This left another 80 animals to die and only 20 survivors.
Khan Younis Zoo is one of the five zoos that are located in the Gaza Strip, a highly-populated area in the coastline with approximately two million people living there and being ruled by Hamas. In the absence though of any governmental body in Gaza that oversees the area’s zoos, and without animal rights’ movement nearby, the zoo was left unsupervised.
The pictures that were taken this year show the animals’ corpses level of decay over the years. They lie there lifeless and completely dried up and look like ornaments.
The zoo staff used to stuff and embalm the dead animals and returned them to their cages. Before the conflicts, the zoo had ten embalmed animals in temporary exhibits which were decorated with fencing which was recovered from several Jewish settlements from 2005.
However, after the loss of most of living animals during the war, the number of dead animals is possible to outnumber those which live.
Mr Awaida had utilised his elementary taxidermy skills on the dead animals mainly after the Gaza war began. This idea began when several animals like the lion and the crocodiles died, and in that way they wanted to still exhibit them after demand to see these animals. Thus, it was thought that in mummify them would be the cheapest and best solution.
Dr Amir Khalil had stated that the Khan Younis’ Zoo is probably the worst of all the zoos in the world, as it is stated to be less than a zoo, but a prison. Dr Khalil is the director of the project management at Four Paws, an animal welfare organisation with international activity.
This organisation was responsible for saving more than one hundred animals from the Gaza zoos along with several local volunteers who assisted in this cause. The Organization reported that food and veterinary care was given to forty animals coming from the Khan Younis Zoo, which were at risk because of their undernutrition.