A bunch of baboons were seen roaming through war torn Gaza after the area's zoo was damaged by bombs.
Nama Zoo in Gaza City, which was known for having a collection of animals not like any you would see at a Western zoo – including dogs, cats, donkeys, cows and sheep – was home to a family of baboons.
But the group was captured on video cautiously patrolling an area of Gaza impacted by the war between terrorists group Hamas and Israel. A video of them was posted on social media earlier today by Israeli journalist Nadav Eyal.
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He said: “The zoo in Gaza (in the north) was damaged because of the bombings and the staff's experience; The animals were released. Here is a group of baboons – under the auspices of the truce, an IDF veterinarian was dispatched to capture these poor animals. Together with the brigade in the field, he succeeded.”
The group, which appears to be three large grey baboons, were sedated and taken to Israel to be cared for, and will be returned to Gaza's zoo once the war is over. It is thought that the animals were freed from the zoo before the recently-ended truce, which lasted just five days before Hamas fired rockets into Israel earlier this morning (December 1).
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Despite the promise to return them, some on Twitter/X pointed out that the zoo has a terrible reputation for animal abuse, as reported by several news outlets earlier this year. One wrote: “They must never be returned to Gaza. It was never a real zoo but an enterprise of abusing poor animals. To call it a zoo is to whitewash the disgust that is the condition of the animals in that 'zoo' – there is no respect for animal life.”
Gaza used to have six zoos, but now only two remain, with reports earlier this year claiming that neither have the medical facilities to treat any of the animals it houses.
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Mahmoud Al-Sultan, NAMA Zoo, Medical supervisor said: “Any type of animal that is lost in the zoo, this means that is the end for this species here, because most of the animals that entered the Gaza Strip in general and the NAMA recreational park specifically were smuggled through the tunnel in the past period.
“Today, it is very difficult to bring in any new animal to the garden due to the lack of resources and the expensive prices, even if there is an opportunity or possibility for that it will be difficult.”
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