Lions rescued from Mideast war zones relocated in South African sanctuary by Four Paws animal rights group

TWO lions rescued from neglected zoos in war zones in Iraq and Syria were transported to South Africa on Monday to live at a sanctuary with other animals that survived harsh conditions in captivity elsewhere in the world.

The male lions arrived in Johannesburg in metal crates on a Qatar Airways flight after leaving an animal refuge in Jordan on Sunday. They were loaded onto vehicles for a drive of several hours to their new home at the Lionsrock facility near the town of Bethlehem.

The lions were emaciated and dehydrated after the international animal welfare group Four Paws extracted them from a zoo in eastern Mosul in Iraq and an amusement park near Aleppo in Syria. The two cities have experienced some of the worst fighting that has hit both countries in recent years, killing large numbers of…

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