Stolen Lion Suffered Abuse as Photo Prop
Hamas returns stolen lion, minus claws and teeth, to
By The Associated Press
Even animals with large teeth and claws do not fare well in the volatile Gaza Strip.
On Monday, Hamas forces raiding the hideout of a notorious drug ring stumbled upon a lion stolen at riflepoint two years ago from the Gaza Zoo, said a force commander, Abu Hamam al-Deeb. But she was malnourished, missing four teeth, claws and part of her tail, a veterinarian said.
Hamas forces found the 2-year-old lion – as well as drugs and a weapons cache that were the target of the raid – after exchanging fire with the gunmen, al-Deeb said.
Sabrina was brought back to the Gaza Zoo and reunited with her brother, Sakher, who had avoided capture by resisting the gunmen. The two playfully swatted each other in the face and chased each other. When a zoo guard tried to pet Sabrina, Sakher crouched as if ready to pounce on him.
"We will start a long, arduous treatment to ensure she can survive, said the zoo veterinarian," Soud al-Shawaa. "She will only eat minced meat from now on so we feel sorry for her. … They should punish the criminals who did this to her."
Sabrina had last been seen during a recent Muslim holiday at a
Sabrina and Sakher were bought from
The feline’s fate was brighter than that of other game animals in Palestinian zoos. In 2004 several animals were killed when the strip’s previous zoo in the border town of
In the West Bank town of
Later that year, the West Bank zoo received a gift of three lions, two zebras and three ibexes from