One of five malnourished lions dies in Sudan park

The African lions haven't had enough food and medicine for weeks, according to reports.
The African lions haven't had enough food and medicine for weeks, according to reports. Photo credit: Getty

One of five "malnourished and sick" African lions held at a park in Sudan has died, and an online campaign to save the remaining four continues to grow.

The lions are being kept in cages at Khartoum's Al-Qureshi park, and haven't had enough food and medicine for weeks, according to AFP.

A manager of the park said the lioness was taken to an animal clinic where she received intravenous fluids to try and save her. She died on Tuesday, and another male lion is still sick.

"The doctor gave the two some medicines after which they were given food. One recovered, but the other died," Brigadier Essamelddine Hajjar told AFP.

The five lions suffered from a shortage of food and medicine for weeks, and park officials often paid for the lions' food with their own money.

The park is also reportedly in poor condition, which is contributing to the animals' deteriorating health.

Funding to run the park is managed by the Khartoum municipality, but is also partly funded by private donors.

Osman Salih launched a Facebook campaign on January 18 under the hashtag Sudan Animal Rescue, urging the public and institutions to help save them.

"I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park... their bones are protruding from the skin," he said on Facebook.

Salih's Facebook page shows photos of the lions' cages and the conditions they live in. He is also following the medicine and aid the animals are receiving.

On Sunday (local time), crowds of people and volunteers flocked to the park to see the lions after their photos went viral.

There were chunks of rotten meat covered in flies that lay near the cages, AFP reported.

A Facebook update from Salih says animal rights non-profit Four Paws International agreed on Sunday to send an emergency rescue team to rehabilitate the lions not only at Al-Qureshi park, but also at other parks in Sudan.

The African lion population dropped 43 percent between 1993 and 2014, and AFP estimates there are about 20,000 left in the wild. They are classified as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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