A Gaza zoo has gone to extreme measures in order to encourage locals to visit the struggling business.
A young lioness was declawed with the intention of having visitors play with the 14-month-old cub. Animal activists around the world are outraged with this decision.
The act of removing a lion’s claws has been compared to cutting off a human finger up until the knuckle.
The Rafah Zoo is located in the southern portion of the Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt.
In a desperate attempt to generate business, the owner of the zoo decided to make their 14-month-old lioness more safe for human contact.
The gruesome decision was carried out two weeks ago at the zoo.
While a procedure of this magnitude should take place in the proper facilities, the Rafah Zoo didn’t have enough funding to foot the bill.
Instead, the zoo owner decided to have the procedure performed in the dirty zoo.
The lioness was called Falestine after the country of Palestine in which Gaza resides.
Falestine was put to sleep with a tranquilizer and shrouded in a thick blanket. She was lifted onto a table to provide the veterinarian quicker access.
Fayez al-Haddad used a pair of shears to cut off the lioness’ claws. Although he took the time to sew up each wound, the entire procedure was inhumane and sloppy.
Unfortunately for Falestine, the procedure required more than one operation. She was put under once again on Tuesday so the veterinarian could finish the job.
It’s difficult to imagine the amount of pain caused by this procedure.
The 14-month-old lioness must have been completely confused after realizing that her paws were missing.
The Four Paws organization compares the procedure to the cutting of a human’s finger up until their knuckle.
The owner of the zoo doesn’t seem to be morally affected by the cruel decision.
It is clear that animal welfare is not high on the list of priorities for the Rafah Zoo. The zoo opened nearly two decades ago.
Despite having twenty-years of experience in zoo management, the decision to cut off a young lioness’ claws was still made.
This is a chilling and concerning issue that calls into question the treatment of other animals in the zoo.
Unfortunately, destruction and death aren’t unfamiliar faces at the Rafah Zoo.
The zoo had to close its doors in 2004 after an Israeli army operation bulldozed parts of the structure.
Before that incident, many animals lost their lives due to rockets that were being sent from Israel.