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Emergency Response & Disaster Relief


First aid for afflicted zoo animals in Tripoli

A FOUR PAWS emergency relief unit has begun working at Tripoli Zoo, in response to media reports about 700 animals facing starvation. The ongoing political conflict in Libya is the reason why they were abandoned by the zoo personnel and have been without food and water for days, if not weeks. Many of the traumatised animals are in a critical condition and urgently need help. The FOUR PAWS team is providing first aid to the most afflicted animals and will establish supply routes as well as reinstating care.

The unrest in Libya has been going on for the past six months and is widely regarded as the most far-reaching revolutionary effort of the „Arab Spring“. Nonetheless, when the fights reached the capital Tripoli, many of its inhabitants took shelter on the outskirts, also leaving the local zoo and its estimated 700 wild animals abandoned and forgotten. Last week, CNN reported about the horrifying condition of the animals left behind, which led to world-wide appeals for help. FOUR PAWS is now the first Animal Welfare organisation on site, accompanied by Jeremy Mansfield, an award-winning radio and television personality from South Africa.

© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

First measures
The FOUR PAWS team will be working in cooperation with various organisations and volunteers to establish a secure feeding system and medical support for the animals. As a first measure, a hurried evaluation determined which of the animals needed to be assisted first – and what their individual needs were. Vaccination supplies had gone bad due to the broken down refrigeration systems and were re-supplied by the team. Food supplies needed to be established quickly – particularly for the predators.

Establishing new routines
As a next step, a system of medical care will be implemented along with a steady flow of supplies. A feeding routine will be established while new staff is being trained to provide adequate care and improve the zoo’s standards. Libya is the second FOUR PAWS relief mission in the Middle East in 2011, having provided aid to animals deserted during the Egypt uprisings earlier this year. Team members are appealing for support of this extensive project.

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© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile