Horrifying images of starving lions in a Sudan zoo have prompted a worldwide campaign to save them

Ashraf Shazly / AFP via Getty ImagesFive lions are starving at a zoo in Sudan because staff are reportedly unable to get them enough food and medical care.

Heartbreaking images of emaciated lions in a zoo in Sudan have sparked an international effort to get them the nutrition they need and save their lives.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), images of five lions in cages at Al-Qureshi Park in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum prompted Osman Salih to launch the #Sudananimalrescue Facebook campaign.

Sudan starving lion 2Ashraf Shazly / AFP via Getty ImagesThe starving lions are at the Al-Qureshi Park in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.

“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,” said Salih in a Facebook post.

“We have consulted a number of veterinarians and wildlife specialists on the topic of treatment, which requires effort and follow-up to the health conditions of the lions, and there is a group of young people inside and outside the country who have the desire to provide assistance.

“The invitation is open to all who are interested in wildlife and all who believe in animal rights. They can provide us with the necessary assistance.”

Sudan starving lion 3Ashraf Shazly / AFP via Getty ImagesStaff have reportedly had to use their own money to feed the lions.

He also said: “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 (sic) meat and poor diet.”

According to AFP, the health of the lions at the zoo had declined in the past few weeks due to the scarcity of food, causing some lions to lose up to two-thirds of their normal body weight. Manager Essamelddine Hajjar told AFP that zoo staff had even resorted to using their own money to try and feed the lions.

People reported that one of the lions died on Monday.

Sudan starving lion 4Ashraf Shazly / AFP via Getty ImagesA campaign has been launched to help the lions, but a GoFundMe was shut down.

Salih has also tried to raise funds to help the lions on GoFundMe. However, he said on Facebook on Tuesday that the campaign was suspended by GoFundMe due to ongoing US economic sanctions against Sudan.

Not all the news is bad, however. On Tuesday, Salih posted a video to Facebook showing a lioness at the zoo receiving food, which she was able to eat following medical care.

More help could be coming, too. Salih wrote on Facebook on Monday that he had submitted paperwork for a partnership with FOUR PAWS International, who will be sending an emergency relief team to help not only the lions at Al-Qureshi Park, but elsewhere in Sudan.

On Facebook on Wednesday, Salih asked people to be patient while he worked on setting up a new fundraising campaign to help the lions. He added people could send him a direct message on Facebook to discuss how to help.


According to the World Wildlife Fund, lions are a “vulnerable” species, with only about 23,000 left.

Sudan has been undergoing large amounts of upheaval in recent months, including the toppling of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir and ongoing protests and armed mutinies, incidents which have turned deadly. There is also ongoing unrest in Darfur, and a prolonged economic crisis that has made cash hard to come by.

Al-Qureshi Park did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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