Gaza Zoo Owner Selling Lion Cubs to Save Other Animals From Starvation

Mohammed Juda, who's charging $3,500 per cub, says he needs $290 to $430 per day to feed the zoo's animals

Palestinian children stand near two-month-old lion cubs at the zoo in Rafah, Gaza Strip, December 22, 2017.
Adel Hana/AP

The owner of a private zoo in the Gaza Strip has announced a plan to sell three lion cubs to fund food for other animals at the zoo as he is running out of money.

For each cub he is asking 3,500 dollars, Mohammed Juda told dpa on Tuesday. He is hoping the money will prevent the closure of his zoo in the southern city of Rafah.

A Palestinian boy holds a two-month-old lion cubs while children watch at the zoo in Rafah, Gaza Strip, December 22, 2017.
Adel Hana/AP
A Palestinian family looks at a two-month-old lion cub, at the zoo in Rafah, Gaza Strip, December 22, 2017.
Adel Hana/AP

"There is no tourism in Gaza and very few people visit the zoo," Juda said.

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He said he needs 1,000 to 1,500 shekels ($290 to $430) per day to feed the other animals in the zoo, which prompted him to sell the 2-month-old cubs, which were born to lions in the zoo.

Last year international animal rights group Four Paws rescued the 15 last animals from another zoo in Khan Yunis in Gaza's south. At that zoo, which they described as the worst in the world, dozens of animals starved to death.

Ongoing conflict and a decade-long blockade by Israel have led to miserable conditions in the Gaza Strip.

Ahmad Joma'a, a zoo worker holds two-month-old lion cubs at the zoo in Rafah, Gaza Strip, December 22, 2017.
Adel Hana/AP
Palestinians play with two-month-old lion cubs at the zoo in Rafah, Gaza Strip, December 22, 2017.
Adel Hana/AP
Ahmad Joma'a, a zoo worker, holds a two-month-old lion cub at the zoo in Rafah, Gaza Strip, December 22, 2017.
Adel Hana/AP