War Captives: Last Surviving Animals in Mosul Zoo-Turned-ISIS Base Finally Receive Treatment

Feb 24, 2017 11:28 PM EST

Treatment for the last surviving animals of the Mosul zoo has finally arrived after a few weeks of being rescued from ISIS fighters.

According to The Telegraph, Dr. Amir Khalil, a veterinary from Vienna, flew to Iraq to treat the young lion named Simba and a female bear named Lula. The two animals are the only ones that survived after the ISIS turned the zoo into a base for two years.

"The conditions were very bad. It was nearly two months since anyone had entered their cage," shared Dr. Khalil in a report from The Mirror. "More than 40 animals had passed away."

Simba and Lula was found in Mosul zoo earlier this month when the Iraqi troops finally reached the area. Both the animals were filthy and emaciated, making them in dire need of immediate care. Other animals at Mosul zoo either got sick, died or ate each other due to starvation. Some of the animals have escaped and found refuge in neighboring residents.

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The young lion Simba suffer from skin lesions and weak joints due to being underfed. Dr. Khalil noted that it was nearly two months since anyone entered its cage. On the other hand, Lula the bear suffered from diarrhea due to nutritional problems, nose excretions and rotting teeth.

This is not the first time Dr. Khalil traveled to war-torn areas to treat and save animals. In 2003, the 52-year-old Egyptian-Austrian vet visited Iraq after the U.S. troops rescued nine lion from one of the palaces of former president Saddam Hussein. Dr. Khalil also traveled to Egypt, Libya and the Gaza Strip to treat animals, despite the huge threat of bombs and ammunitions.

Dr. Khalil's recent trip to Iraq was made possible by the global animal charity Four Paws. Volunteers from Four Paws plan to give the zoo owner enough food and medicine for Simba and Lula that will last for about a month, giving the zoo owner time to find appropriate funding to continue the care for the two animals.

Read Also: Heartbreaking Footage Shows Syrian Heritage Destroyed by ISIS  

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