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Sickly bears leave Pakistan zoo for a sanctuary in Jordan

Sickly bears arrive at a sanctuary in Jordan after leaving Pakistan’s notorious Margahazar Zoo

Two sickly bears arrived at a sanctuary in Jordan on Wednesday after leaving Pakistan's notorious Margahazar Zoo.

Himalayan brown bears Bubaloo and Suzie were flown to Jordan on a Qatari passenger plane and arrived at the cargo terminal of Amman airport.

The pair were the final animals to be rescued after a Pakistani court ordered the zoo to shut in May following years of campaigning by animal welfare activists.

Bubaloo and Suzie are former dancing bears and have both had nearly all their teeth removed in an effort to prevent them hurting their owner and spectators.

Rescue organisation Four Paws said the pair both had serious behavioural issues as a result of poor treatment.

Suzie, meanwhile, was subjected to a botched operation to remove a tumour from her chest earlier this year, forcing Four Paws to carry out emergency surgery on the 17-year-old.

The pair will now be quarantined for three weeks before they are transferred to Al Ma'wa, a sanctuary for nature and wildlife.

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The reserve, which already houses ten Syrian and black Asian bears, is located near the famous Roman ruins of Jerash, north of Amman.

The site, which is 1,100 metres above sea level, will have heated dens for Bubaloo and Suzie in the winter and a private swimming pool for the pair to cool off during the sweltering Jordanian summer.

Al Ma'wa was set up by Four Paws and the Princess Alia Foundation, which is overseen by the eldest daughter of the late King Hussein.

Dr Amir Khalil, a vet with Four Paws who has been caring for the zoo's badly treated animals, said: "Suzie and Bubaloo are finally starting a new life. With their departure to Jordan, we can give the bears the medical treatment and care they desperately need."

Earlier this year, US pop star Cher spearheaded a campaign for a lone elephant, named Kaavan, to be rescued from the Margahazar Zoo.

Kaavan, who was dubbed the 'world's loneliest elephant', was relocated to a sanctuary in Cambodia in late November.

Khalil was cited by Reuters confirming Kaavan was recovering well in Cambodia and, after years of living alone, had bonded with two female elephants.

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