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Save The Animals of Rafah Zoo

Four Paws managed to save more than 40 animals from Rafah Zoo.

Over 40 animals were suffering in Rafah Zoo, Gaza. At the beginning of 2019, Gaza's oldest zoo attracted worldwide attention. Four lion cubs froze to death there due to the harsh weather and poor keeping conditions. Only a few weeks later, a 14-month-old lioness was permanently mutilated by the brutal and unprofessional removal of her claws. Almost 150,000 people demanded immediate action - and fortunately, Four Paws were able to follow that call. 


More than 80 animals died when a zoo in northern Gaza was severely damaged by air strikes. An emergency team by Four Paws managed to get there and help the 20 surviving animals. Dr. Amir Khalil and his team delivered urgently needed medicine and food. Luckily, Four Paws was able to close down the zoo.


In 2015, a father of six bought the cubs from Rafah Zoo as a treat for his grandchildren. The new ‘pets’ quickly pushed the family to their financial and physical limits. Four Paws rescued the two cubs from this irresponsible private keeping.


Four Paws conducted an intense rescue mission to save the remaining 15 animals at Khan Younis Zoo.


Assessment trip to Gaza, Rafah Zoo in order to provide some care for the animals. Start of the negotiations. Owner willing to hand over the animals and close the zoo.


4 lions cubs were born at the Rafah Zoo and tragically passed away due to freezing conditions. A declawing of one of the lionesses also took place. This operation was described as cruel in the local newspapers.

First attempt for the Four Paws team to enter Gaza. Due to the military escalation and the closing of the borders at that period, the team had to go back and postpone the rescue. But another entry was attempted and the Four Paws team managed to enter the Gaza Strip.

The three lions cubs, among them the declawed lioness, are released at Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife and the two adult lions are transferred to our sanctuary, LIONSROCK in South Africa. The other animals are either released into the wild (in a protected area) or stay at the New Hope Center, in Amman. The dogs and cats are under the care of the Humane Center for Animal Welfare until they can be sent to their new homes.

Your support will help to create a better world for vulnerable animals.

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