BEIRUT, June 29 (Reuters) – Skinny and frail, the 2 huge cats scarcely moved as they lay on the concrete ground of their cage whereas, close by, an emaciated Syrian brown bear anxiously paced his enclosure.
The three ravenous animals are among the many final, uncared for residents of a zoo in Hazmieh exterior Beirut, their repairs rendered too costly by Lebanon’s financial disaster.
“At this level they aren’t actually lions,” mentioned Jason Mier, director of Animals Lebanon, a rescue charity looking for houses for them and different zoo animals in sanctuaries overseas.
“DNA-wise these are lions however these are simply two animals which have given up on life and are mendacity right here.”
Animals are hanging on in related circumstances in all of Lebanon’s 5 zoos, victims of a monetary meltdown that has consigned greater than half of the inhabitants to poverty and erased greater than 90% of the native forex’s worth.
A lion eats round 50 kilograms (110lb) of meals every week, costing 100,000 Lebanese kilos – or round $6 on the casual market price – per kilo. The minimal month-to-month wage is simply 675,000 kilos.
“There is no manner any entrance payment can cowl the bills for protecting these animals correctly,” Mier mentioned.
Animals Lebanon has efficiently relocated about 15 lions and tigers overseas in addition to, over the previous two years, round 250 different wild animals, cats and canine.
Two bears are headed to Colorado in coming weeks and the rescue organisation hopes to ship three extra lions both there or to South Africa.
Above all, it’s attempting to forestall what occurred in zoos in conflict zones like Syria, Yemen and Iraq from occurring in Lebanon earlier than it is too late.
“The zoos collapse and animals undergo and so they both die of their cages otherwise you ship them to sanctuaries,” Mier mentioned.
Reporting By Issam Abdallah, writing by Maha El Dahan; enhancing by John Stonestreet
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.