AFP/ The Hague
Two tigers rescued from an abandoned zoo in the war-torn Syrian town of Aleppo are to be given a new home in a Dutch sanctuary, the animal refuge said Friday.
Brother and sister, Sultan and Sayeeda, will arrive Monday in The Netherlands after they were among 13 animals evacuated earlier this year from the "Magic World" zoo and amusement park in the ravaged Syrian city.
The Four Paws charity, which goes to the aid of animals in distress around the world, brought the tigers out of Syria and into Turkey at the end of July along with five lions, two bears, two hyenas and two dogs.
After a short stay in Turkey to be cared for and treated for neglect, the animals were taken to Jordan in mid-August. While most of the 13 beasts are staying there, Sultan and Sayeeda, who were badly emaciated and de-hydrated, are to be cared for at the Felida refuge in northern Nijeberkoop.
The felines, which will be housed in the sanctuary's quietest areas, will receive special medical treatment to help them get over the trauma of the war and develop a more natural behaviour.
They "were living in a war zone. They were thirsty and hungry. They could hear lots of noise from the bombings" and suffered a lot of stress as a result, said Simone Schuls, the director of the refuge.
"It's a great second chance for these animals," she said, adding the pair may eventually be rehoused elsewhere depending on their recovery.
In April in a tough mission in Iraq, Four Paws also rescued a lion and a bear, the last survivors of the ravaged zoo in Mosul.
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