14-Month-Old Lioness Brutally Declawed in Zoo so Visitors Can Play with Her

Humans can go beyond any boundaries just to be entertained or to offer entertainment to other people just for profit. However, the cruelty can be so outraging, that this type of entertainment can easily turn into agony.

Animals have always intrigued people, especially the trained wild animals, like the elephant, lions, etc. As a result of that we keep them in Zoos or they are used in many travelling circuses which is not their natural habitat. But, what appalled many people are when someone tried to hurt them just in order to offer some kind of fun to certain group of people.

Such thing was done by a Palestinian Zoo that in order to boost their business they have declawed a 14-month-old lioness. The purpose for this cruel action was to become harmless so that the visitors could play with her. Unfortunately, this was true at some point people came to see her and to play to her, but there were many who were horrified by the site.

This incident happened in the Rafah Zoo where there are no proper veterinary facilities in the war-torn Gaza strip. The lioness was tranquilized and shrouded so that the veterinarian Fayez al-Haddad could perform the outrage surgery. He used a pair of shears to clip off her claws, one by one, and after that sew her up. The 14-month-old animal, named Falestine was subjected to additional torture in the following days to come in order for the process to be complete.

The owner of the zoo, Mohammed Jumaa, 53, and Haddad did not find this act cruel as they were interested only in the profit of the zoo. Jumma did not even consider what this poor animal would experience due to such horrible act. In fact, he stated that he is trying” to reduce the aggression of the lioness so it can be friendly with visitors.” 

As a correlation what this zoo owner do to Falestine, the Four Paws charity compares it to chopping off a person’s fingers up to their knuckles.

For big cats, removing the claws is a particularly vicious procedure which causes long-lasting damage. Natural behavior, such as grabbing food or climbing, is hardly possible without an animal’s claws. Since the amputation was not done in a proper vet clinic, the chance of infection is high.”

The Rafah Zoo is located near to the border of Egypt in the southernmost part of the Gaza strip, and was first opened 20 years ago. Due to the war actions it was destroyed in 2004 by the Israeli army. But, this was not the end of the zoo, as two years ago Jumaa took over it and opened it for business. The zoo is not like the ones you visit, the animals are kept in awful conditions.

Lioness Falestine has her head pushed down into the dirt as she lies helplessly in the Gaza strip, far from her natural habitat.

Posted by World Heritage Species on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Four Paws state that the conditions at the zoo are monstrous. All the animals that are brought to the zoo are to and from Gaza smuggled via underground tunnels that lead to the zoo. 

The animals are left to die like in the case of four newborn lion cubs that were left to freeze to death. The rest of the animals, counting approximately 49 are trapped in pitiful enclosures. The zoo “takes care of” five lions, a hyena, cats, monkeys, wolves, emus, dogs, and exotic birds.

The charity is adamant in seeking closure for this zoo due to inhumane practice of confining animals to tiny cages that are not properly maintained. Additionally, advocates of animal welfare are doing their best to prevent these horrible things to happen to the other animals as well.

The zoo was destroyed during an Israeli army bulldozing operation in Rafah in 2004, before Jumaa re-established it two years ago.

Posted by World Heritage Species on Thursday, February 14, 2019

Four paws is also aware of the fact that this cruel method can be applied to the other animals and if this incident is left unaddressed, more animals will get harmed and even die as a result of this malpractice. The charity in its Instagram post have started their fight for the protection of these animals asking the authorities for the closure of the zoo due to inhuman practice, “where over 40 more animals are kept in horrible conditions.”

In addition to this, it stated:

Our team already started negotiations with the relevant authorities. They urgently need our help! We’ll keep you updated about this case!”

Young Palestinian children look on at the adolescent lion, who has been touted as safe enough to play with after a vet declawed her.

Posted by World Heritage Species on Thursday, February 14, 2019

The comments of many people were that there was no need of declawing an animal like lion as people are not supposed to “play” with wild animals. They belong to the Nature where they thrive the best and in the most natural way.

Lioness Falestine has her head pushed down into the dirt as she lies helplessly in the Gaza strip, far from her natural habitat.

Posted by World Heritage Species on Thursday, February 14, 2019

The veterinarian, Haddad, who performed this horrible act said that he monitored Falestine’s behavior when, on February 12, she was left out of the cage in order to come near the visitors of the zoo, including children. He stated:

The claws were cut so that they would not grow fast and visitors and children could play with her. We want to bring smiles and happiness to children while increasing the number of visitors to the park, which suffers from high expenses.”

Palestinian zoo workers hold up the young lioness called Falestine at the Rafah Zoo in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

Posted by World Heritage Species on Thursday, February 14, 2019

According to him, Falestine will not lose her innate nature and her offensive instincts, and although her claws were removed, they will grow back again in 6 months. He even added that she did not show any aggression towards the zookeepers when she was left out the cage, she even played with them. But, she was not immediately introduced to the visitors; she was given more time to adjust. No one considered her great pain due to this process, and that is something that had to come first and foremost.