You’ll not find the worst zoo in the world than in the Gaza strip. The place treats their animals like meat and starves their animals to the bone for no good reason. Photos of Laziz, the last zoo at the Gaza animal park, the Khan Younis Zoo, shocked the world when they went viral a few years ago – but now that he has been rescued and freed from the Middle Eastern hellhole of a zoo, he’s living his best life and doing much better.
You might have seen the horrifying images and videos of Laziz struggling to survive at the Khan Younis zoo. They were sickening and disturbing. Laziz was deprived of food for two months before rescuers finally reached him. Now he’s in much better hands. The zoo has been closed down. And during a battle between Israel and Gaza, the zoo was partially bombed.
Instead of struggling to live in Gaza, Laziz now enjoys life at LionsRock, which is an animal sanctuary specifically designed for big cats and located in South Africa. He’s much happier there than he was in the Middle East where he was systematically mistreated and abused.
His new “enclosure” in South Africa is one thousand times larger than the cage he was locked in while in Gaza.
When he was just a tiny cub, poachers stole him from his family and smuggled him across the border from Egypt to Gaza. He was mistreated and abused for years until Four Paws, an international animal charity, helped free him from Khan Younis in 2016.
When veterinary surgeon Dr. Amir Khalili of Four Paws saw Laziz, he admitted it was a horrible case.
“So many people have followed the progress of our mission eagerly and shown their solidarity with Laziz and the other animals. We are happy that we were finally able to close down Khan Younis Zoo. Laziz was subjected to mortar and grenade strikes that wiped out almost all the zoo’s inhabitants and survived nearly two months without food. And in a particularly macabre turn of events, his partner was even mummified when she died and was kept in Laziz’s enclosure.”
While Khan Younis was open, the zoo mistreated and abused their animals. Photos were captured of mummified animals that had died of neglect. The zookeepers blamed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for distracting them from their caretaker duties.
Because no government organization monitored zoos in Gaza, the zookeepers cut corners and starved the beautiful animals. Laziz was the final big cat to survive in the zoo and was lucky to leave with his life- not many other animals received that simple blessing.
Laziz now lives the good life alongside eighteen other tigers. He wanders his massive enclosure freely.
“It’s safe to say that few animals on earth have been through as much as this tiger has,” Dr. Khalil said. “Laziz is now settling into life at LionsRock and whilst he is still traumatized by his past life, he is doing well.”
What do you think about the conditions of Laziz’s former zoo in the Middle East?
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