In a complex operation, a group of animals was transferred on Wednesday morning from the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing, in order to receive better living conditions and improved care, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry Spokesperson’s Office reported. As on previous occasions, the move was made possible due to cooperation between the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Defense Ministry Crossings Authority and the local Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza.
At the initiative of international animal welfare charity Four Paws, a tiger, five monkeys, two ostriches, two gazelles, two tortoises, a swan and a porcupine left Gaza Wednesday morning. These animals, which will be transferred to zoos in South Africa and Jordan, the Ben Shemen, Israel monkey park and the Safari zoo in Ramat Gan, Israel, are the last from the Khan Yunis zoo in the southern Gaza Strip. Their transfer constitutes the closing of Khan Yunis zoo, the operation of which had become very difficult in recent years.
Special cages, veterinary equipment and medicines were brought into the Gaza Strip to facilitate optimal veterinary treatment of the animals before the actual transfer.
Uri Madar from the Agriculture Ministry Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office said in a statement: “Given the less than satisfactory conditions and in the absence of the ability to continue caring for the animals at the Khan Yunis zoo, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry assisted and coordinated the transfer of the animals to zoos in Israel and around the world. Over the last two years, the ministry transferred lions, a horse and other animals. Our veterinary services have been continually active and are devoted to the welfare and health of the animals. We are delighted and moved every time we are able to be of assistance in saving the lives of animals.”David Israel