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Rapid Response Iraq


Update, 08/04/2017:

Lula and Simba have finally been moved to a safe location outside of Mosul, after days waiting at a checkpoint. 


We are now working hard on the logistics to get the animals moved to a safe, species-appropriate new home.


A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and we ask you to kindly continue to support our efforts. Lula and Simba still need our help:


Update, 2017/03/29:

Vets Dr. Amir Khalil (l.) and Dr. Ovidiu Rosu taking care of bear Lula.

Yesterday was one of the toughest days in the history of FOUR PAWS. In the early morning we departured from Erbil and headed to war-torn Mosul to rescue Lula and Simba from their desolate home.


Initially, everything went to plan, and we had the full support of the army. They joined us on our way to Mosul zoo and were on site when we anaesthetised Lula and Simba. After the two animals were loaded on the truck, they escorted us out of the city until we reached the first checkpoint, which is located at the border of Mosul. There we were stopped and detained. We negotiated, but did not succeed. Lula and Simba had to go back to the zoo, we were asked to leave Mosul without them.

During the night our mission leader Dr. Amir Khalil started the negotiations ...

... and the negotiations are still ongoing. We don't know what the outcome of these negotiations will be. But we will do our absolute best to still find a sustainable solution for Lula and Simba.


For us it's clear: They have to be removed from Mosul to a safe and species-appropriate place somewhere else. We are still not sure, why our team was stopped at the border and are currently trying to establish that.


Please check our Facebook page for regular updates.


The lion's mother died recently, and was buried in a grave next to its cage.

FOUR PAWS brings hope to the last wild animals of a city ravaged by war

FOUR PAWS rapid response team has been able to provide food  and urgent veterinary care to a bear and a lion, the last animals of Montazah Al-Morour Zoo in Eastern Mosul, Iraq. For the last three months the zoo was on the front line of an armed conflict between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Iraq army. The zoo was nearly destroyed and most of its animals including a lioness, monkeys and rabbits were killed or died of starvation.

Some animals including three bear cubs were eaten by hungry predators or died of starvation.

FOUR PAWS is the first animal welfare organisation that got a permission to enter the city of Mosul

FOUR PAWS’ team headed by Dr. Amir Khalil entered the ravaged city of Mosul on early Tuesday morning to find the zoo and its exhausted inhabitants in a disastrous state. Although alive, both animals look miserable and are suffering from many diseases caused by malnutrition and lack of veterinary care. Both the bear and the lion have very bad teeth, in addition the bear suffers from pneumonia and the lion has ill joints. Their cages were polluted with debris. FOUR PAWS accompanied by local volunteers provided the animals with food and first aid. The cages were cleaned for the first time in three months. We are happy that we managed to provide the bear and the lion with the urgently needed help.

While performing a vet check we heard blasts of missiles in the remote parts of the city.

Food and medicine for the next four weeks

The food will be distributed with the help of local volunteers. The health condition of the animals is still far from good, but veterinary care should help them to overcome the hardest time and we are hopeful they will recover.


If you want to support our work, please cllick on the donate button.

Thank your for your help!

Simba's mother died recently, and was buried in a grave next to its cage.