Sudan lions reserve warns running low on food amid fighting

Violence raises fears about the fate of 25 lions and other animals in a wildlife reserve near Khartoum

By AFP

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Male lions and female lionesses follow an animal keeper carrying food in a wheelbarrow from behind the fence of an enclosure at the Sudan Animal Rescue centre in Al Bageir, south of the capital Khartou. — AFP
Male lions and female lionesses follow an animal keeper carrying food in a wheelbarrow from behind the fence of an enclosure at the Sudan Animal Rescue centre in Al Bageir, south of the capital Khartou. — AFP

Published: Sun 23 Apr 2023, 2:53 PM

Heavy fighting in Sudan, which has plunged the nation into chaos and killed hundreds, has also raised fears about the fate of 25 lions and other animals in a wildlife reserve.

The facility said it is without electricity to power safety fences around enclosures and running low on food for the felines, which each require five to 10 kilogrammes (11 to 22 pounds) of meat a day.

Violence broke out in the capital and across Sudan on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The clashes have killed more than 400 people, wounded thousands and threatened a descent into wider turmoil in the northeast African country, already one of the world's poorest.

"Firstly, may Allah protect Sudan and the people of Sudan," said a statement by the Sudan Animal Rescue Centre, which went on to warn that the situation at the sanctuary had also become "critical".

It said it no longer had a permanent staff presence at the sanctuary, located an hour's drive southeast of Khartoum near a military base that had been rocked by "deadly clashes on a daily basis".

The sanctuary houses 25 lions and various other animals including gazelles, camels, monkeys, hyenas and birds.

"We are under tremendous pressure due to the current power outage, and our stocks of food and drink are beginning to run out," it said, adding that one of its vehicles had been stolen.

The power outage had become "a real threat" because the facility relies on electricity to power equipment for the animal enclosures.

"We therefore appeal to all officials and those with the ability to help with the need to intervene ... as soon as possible," it added in the statement.


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