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Remaining animals in Gaza zoo off to new homes across the globe


A delegation from international animal welfare group Four Paws rescued 15 animals from a zoo in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning to prevent them from dying.

The animals were transferred through the Erez crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip several weeks after a medical delegation from the Austrian organisation conducted medical checks.

Egyptian-born veterinarian Dr. Amir Khalil, director of emergency response for Four Paws, told reporters in Gaza that the animals will be transferred to two protectorates in South Africa and Jordan.

The cost of transporting the animals from the Gaza Strip to Jordan and South Africa amounted to 40,000 euros.

The animals were kept in a small zoo located in the city of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. The Austrian organisation has called it the worst zoo in the world.

Four Paws began aid efforts in Gaza's zoos in September 2014 following Israel's Operation Protective Edge after the owner of Al Bisan Zoo in Beit Lahia contacted the organisation for help.

Four Paws transported three tigers out of the Gaza Strip two years ago for treatment in Jordan after they sustained injuries during an Israeli attack. Around 45 animals have died in the enclave over the past 3 years, often due to starvation and difficulties relating to the blockade and the repeated wars.

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