The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is a very complicate and divisive issue. Both sides are fighting for what they believe to be their rightful land. Israelis and Palestinians alike have suffered tragedy and loss. Both sides have used methods of warfare that are considered borderline at best. You can’t go very long without hearing about one side or the other launching some sort of offensive into the others territory. This was the case in 2008, when Israel launched an offensive against the militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. However, not all the victims of this offensive were humans. Check out the devastating story of the Khan Younis Zoo below.
This is Mohammed Awaida, he founded the South Forest Park in 2007 in the Gaza Strip.
In December of 2008, Israel launched an offensive against Hamas, the militant group that controls and governs the Gaza Strip.
When the attack began, the zoo workers couldn’t stay with the animals. They had to flee and leave them all behind.
To Mohammed and his workers dismay, many animals died of starvation and neglect without the workers there to care for them.
When the fighting had died down however, Mohammed was able to return to the zoo in an attempt to repopulate it.
Unfortunately, the fates weren’t smiling on Mohammed.
In the summer of 2014, the fighting between Israel and Hamas escalated once again. Mohammed was faced with the same horrifying situation all over again.
Once again, dozens of animals paid the price of humans waging war against each other.
The weird thing is that instead of disposing of the dead animals, the zoo will embalm them and put them back on display inside their cages!
At this point, the dead animals are almost starting to outnumber the living.
Without any government body that oversees zoos in the area, and no animal rights movement in the area, these animals did not lead the best lives even when they were living.
The zoo is practically unsupervised even when there is no fighting going on.
There is no actual zoo keeper on the grounds, and any medical treatment that needs to be administered is done by consulting veterinarians in Egypt over the phone.
It’s extremely sad that these animals died in one of the most painful ways. Starvation and dehydration are some of the most painful ways to die from what I am told, and I assume that is no different for animals. There are 5 zoos total in the Gaza Strip, and this story really makes me wonder how the animals in those places are treated. With everything that is going on between the two groups, it’s hard to believe that the other animal’s living conditions could be much better. Something definitely needs to be done to make sure these animals are protected.