By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Iraqi government forces and Islamic State militants aren’t the only casualties of the ongoing battle for Mosul.
The Murur Park Zoo in that battle-torn city once housed two lions, a bear and dozens of other animals. Now only the bear and one lion remain. The rest of the animals either died of starvation or in the recent intense fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants.
An animal rescue organization hopes to save the two remaining animals after the zoo’s owner abandoned the animals, Voice of America reported.
Officials from the Kurdistan Organization of Animal Rights Protection, escorted by Iraqi forces, passed through at least five security checkpoints Thursday. They carried water and 300 kilograms of meat for the weakened lion and 100 kilograms of fruits and vegetables for the lethargic brown bear.
“The food will last them for two weeks and we will return again the next time with more food,” Sulaiman Saeed, the president of the Kurdish group, told VOA. In recent days, Mosul residents near the zoo banded together to help feed the lion and bear. Some offered their own bread or collected tree leaves for the bear because they had no food or water.
After the animals get stronger, they will be transferred to the regional capital in Irbil. But the journey will not be easy, Sulaiman said. “These are big, wild animals that need special equipment and trucks for transportation. It’s not that simple to move them out of Mosul.”
In addition, Mosul is a city without a government or law and order. “No corner is safe here,” he said.
Mosul Eye, an activist group that reports on IS activity in Mosul on Facebook and other social media, is appealing to the world to help the animals.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield will publish the paperback edition of David’s latest book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever.