There is no doubt, zoos are controversial these days. Some experts say they are helpful for educating the public while others say zoos do not provide the proper environment for it’s animals like a sanctuary would. That being said, what happens to zoo animals mentally and physically in war torn regions? It is safe to assume these animals are not happy and most likely highly stressed from their environment.
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One such region was the Baghdad Zoo. The animals at this zoo were saved by an amazing man, the late, great conservationist, Lawrence Anthony. His story details one of the world’s greatest animal rescues. When the Iraq war began, Lawrence Anthony, could only see one solution to the Baghdad’s zoo’s dire situation. He would have to enter Baghdad and somehow help save these animals. Once Anthony entered Iraq he discovered the hostilities and uncontrolled looting had devastated the zoo and it’s animals. He quickly learned he would have to defend the zoo, barter for food on the war-torn streets, and scour bombed palaces for desperately needed supplies. The only way he was able to do this is with the help of some members of the Baghdad zoo staff and a few compassionate soldiers. The book, Babylon’s Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, details Anthony’s hard efforts. It’s hard to imagine an individual trying to not only close a deplorable black-market zoo, but save a pride of Saddam’s lions, run ostriches through shoot-to-kill checkpoints, and rescue the dictator’s personal herd of thoroughbred Arabian horses. Though many of the animals had died before Anthony arrived to Baghdad, he was able to save the remaining. His real life story details selfless courage and humanity of a few men and women living in a dangerous region. You can buy this book on Amazon. It’s truly an amazing journey!
Not all zoo animals in war torn regions are saved. Dominique Mosbergen’s article in Huffington Post reported thousands Of Ukraine’s zoo animals may soon starve to death according to conservation group, Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization, a nonprofit headquartered in South Africa. Thousands of animals at one of Ukraine’s zoos are at the brink of starvation. Food is not their only problem, there is a severe scarcity of food and medical supplies for the 5,700 animals at the Nikolaev Zoo, located in southern Ukraine. The Earth Organization also said the animals living in the private zoo of former President Viktor Yanukovych’s lavish estate are also in a similar situation of dire straits. The Earth Organization has been working hard to help these animals. Back in April they were able to raise $40,000 but that is just a fraction of what is needed for these animals to survive.
It’s not too late to help the animals that are still remaining. You can help the plight of these animals in Ukraine’s war torn region by signing this petition. We can all make a difference!