Amman, 14.08.2017 – The rescue from the war-torn zoo in the “Magic World” amusement park close to Aleppo came just in time for a pregnant lioness. On Saturday 12 August, she gave birth to a healthy cub in her new species-appropriate home in Jordan. Only a few hours prior to this, the international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS transferred the lioness and 12 other animals to Amman from Istanbul by passenger plane provided by Royal Jordanian. In the animal sanctuary “Al Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife”, about an hour away from the Jordanian capital, all thirteen animals were released from their transport cages for the first time since their rescue almost three weeks ago.
A new life is about to begin for the five lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, two hyenas and two dogs. After a challenging rescue mission in Syria, which began in late July, and weeks of waiting in Turkey, FOUR PAWS was successful in bringing the former zoo animals to Jordan. Shortly upon arrival the pregnant lioness, Dana, went into labor. “The birth of the cub named Hajar is another little wonder. We really want to thank Royal Jordanian for pushing back the flight and waiting for all animals to be on board. Otherwise Dana would have given birth in a less appropriate environment which could have ended dramatically. The condition of the lioness and her cub is good considering the circumstances,” says FOUR PAWS veterinarian and head of the mission Dr Amir Khalil. An ultrasound, previously performed during her stopover in Turkey, showed that Dana was pregnant with two cubs. “Chances are little that the second cub will be born alive. It is important that Dana gets the medical attention and rest that she needs. We are already blessed to have not only saved thirteen animals from Syria but fourteen,” explains Dr Khalil.