The lions are held in cages at Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi Park and at least one reportedly died of malnutrition on Monday morning.
Trigger warning: This story contains descriptions and images of animal abuse/neglect.
Pictures of starving lions at a park in Sudan's capital sparks mass outrage as an online campaign to rescue five reportedly sick and malnourished African lions continues to grow. People reported that one of the lions died on Monday due to illness. The lions were held in cages at Khartoum's Al-Qureshi Park, where they were not given adequate food and medicine for several weeks, according to several reports.
Over the weekend, Osman Salih, a Sudanese citizen, went to the park and witnessed the horrible conditions of the lions himself. He then started an online campaign, #SudanAnimalRescue, to raise awareness about what was going on and help save the animals.
Five Lions are skin and bone and someone died of hunger and neglect.— ANikett Ⓥ 🍃🌱🐖🐄🌱🍃 (@aniket_anikett) January 20, 2020
The remaining lions need care, Enough food and treatment...
Location : Sudan pic.twitter.com/Z2yB1KH0eA
“After seeing the fires in Australia kill so many precious creatures recently seeing these animals caged and be treated this way made my blood boil,” he wrote in a post on Facebook, sharing shocking images of the lions with their ribs and bones protruding.
“The issue is not simply food but most importantly the animals need detailed and special treatment to rid them of infections and issues probably brought about from infested meat and poor diet,” Salih added.
The park officials and local veterinarians told AFP that the lions' conditions had deteriorated over the past few weeks, as food grew more scarce in the midst of Sudan's current economic crisis. “Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at the park, told the outlet. Though the park is managed by the government in Khartoum, it's mostly funded by private donors.
On Monday, Salih confirmed that one of the lions, a female, died from her illness, while another had to be transported to a clinic for better care. He also made the announcement that he had finally submitted paperwork for a partnership with FOUR PAWS International, who is planning to conduct "an emergency rescue to rehabilitate the animals, not only at Qureshi zoo but other parks in Sudan along with training staff at wildlife authority."
Help save 5 "malnourished and sick" African lions held in cages at a park in Sudan's capital, suffering from shortages of food & medicine.— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) January 20, 2020
Activist Osman Salih launched an online campaign under the slogan #Sudananimalrescue.https://t.co/WT4JyLEm9j@akhbar pic.twitter.com/nIYe9ghDKn
After Salih revealed the news of this partnership on Sunday, he wrote: “Today was a positive day at Qurashi Park. We had good meetings with the park administration and the wildlife police. It is important to note that it was at least very good seeing all the high-level people concerned meet at such short notice. Even though the responsibility for the care and food of the animals was not agreed upon by the authorities,” adding, “Lots of fresh meat was brought by several donors as well as two sheep. Supply of regular meat from factories and slaughter houses was also secured. Managed to buy all required medical supplies for emergency care such as antibiotics, IV drip etc…”
“Anyone that wants to help with food should buy it and bring in person,” he warned, “Too often these situations are exploited and people are scammed.” According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, the African lion is currently listed as a 'vulnerable' species, and its population is continually decreasing.