Social Media in uproar after emaciated African lion images go viral

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 20, 2020, 09.31 PM(IST)

A malnourished lioness sits in her cage at the Al-Qureshi park in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

African lions, caged in Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi park, have not received enough food and medicines for weeks now, reports say.

A Facebook campaign 'Sudananimalrescue' has been launched to save five malnourished and sick African lions held at cages in Sudan's capital, Khartoum.

"I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park ... Their bones are protruding from the skin", wrote Osman Salih on Facebook as he launched an online campaign under the slogan #Sudananimalrescue.

"I urge interested people and institutions to help them," Salih added.

African lions, caged in Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi park, have not received enough food and medicines for weeks now, reports say.

People of the area are demanding to move the lions to some other place where they can get enough food and proper treatment to survive.

Park officials say that the Lions have lost almost two-thirds of their body weight, as the condition is degrading day by day.

“Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” said Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at the park, which is managed by the Khartoum municipality but is partly funded by private donors.

Sudan is in the middle of an economic crisis which led to soaring food prices and a shortage of currency.

It's not clear how many lions are in the park but several are at the Dinder park along the border with Ethiopia.

International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies African lions as "vulnerable" species. Their population dropped 43% between 1993 and 2014, only about 20,000 alive today.

On Sunday, some residents and journalists visited the park to take a look at the lions after the photographs went viral on social media.

One of the lions was tied up with a rope and was given fluids through a drip so that it may recover from dehydration, and there were chunks of rotten meat covered with flies near the cages said AFP reported, who took a tour of the park.

The condition of the park is also affecting the health of other animals, said officials at the park.

"They are suffering from severe illnesses,” a caretaker, Moataz Mahmoud, said. “They are sick and appear to be malnourished.”