Plight of Skeletal Lions Grabs Globe's Attention

They're in a Sudanese zoo
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2020 6:15 PM CST
Updated Jan 22, 2020 12:05 PM CST
Photos Bring Sudanese to Help Starving Lions
In this Tuesday, Jan. 21 photo, a malnourished lion rests in a zoo in Khartoum, Sudan. With the staff at the destitute Al-Qurashi Park, as the zoo in Khartoum is known, unable to feed and look after the animals, many have died off or were evacuated, leaving only three skeletal lions.   (AP Photo)

The photos are jarring and have been seen around the world: malnourished lions kept in rusted cages at a Sudanese zoo that can no longer afford to care for them. Osman Salih, the activist who first posted the photos to Facebook, wrote that "their bones are protruding from the skin." Some of the animals were said to weigh just one-third of what they once did. "Food is not always available, so often we buy it from our own money to feed them," said a park manager, per AFP. Original reports put the number of skeletal lions left at the zoo in Khartoum at five, but the flurry of recent attention they received apparently wasn't enough: Another activist says two of them have since died, leaving two lions and a lioness, reports the AP.

"Today was a positive day" at the park, however, Salih had posted Sunday. Donors brought meat, as well as antibiotics and IV drips, per India Today, and volunteers cleaned up the zoo and did maintenance work. Sudan's skyrocketing food prices sparked a 2019 protest movement that led to the removal of longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. The AP notes that the US currently lists Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, which prevents the zoo from receiving funds from US platforms like GoFundMe. Salih says he's looking for other ways to facilitate donations. (Read more lion stories.)

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