Conflict Poses Obstacles in Helping Animals at the Tripoli Zoo

UPDATE: 9.6.11

Hi all - There is an update on the situation by way of press release here.

From the release:

"The Tripoli Zoo received critical funds today from the International Fund for Animal Welfare that extend a life line to animals caught in the middle of the ongoing armed conflict in Libya."


First off, let me say like all of the world's citizens, we have been following the situation in Libya very closely...With a keen eye towards the animals that may be abandoned.

CNN has just filed a story on the animals in the Tripoli Zoo in Libya.

Some keepers have returned to the zoo and the animals are getting some food but it appears that water is desperately needed.

Looking at this video, which is the first we've seen from inside the zoo and listening to the commentary, it is clear that water is the major issue.

Animals can survive if necessary on little or no food for a period of time but water is critical to survival.

We have been in touch with our colleagues throughout the Middle East and they are reaching out to their contacts in Tripoli with an offer from the International Fund for Animal Welfare for immediate assistance.

The situation in Triploi is very unstable but we are ready and willing to deploy aid.

-- IR

Stay tuned for updates on this situation...

We have heard from many supporters who want to help, for now the only course of action is to donate to our animal rescue efforts around the world.

Comments: 11

6 years ago

[...] Another way that IFAW comes to the aid of animals in disasters is by offering our expertise through assessment work, training, and grant support around the world. Because of your support we have worked diligently in this capacity in Egypt, Canada, US (Missouri, New York, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas), Pakistan, UK (Tristan da Cunha), and at both the Tunis Zoo in Tunisia and Tripoli zoo in Libya. [...]

7 years ago

Thankyou! Thankyou...Will make another donation today in honor of Libyan Zoo Animals...

7 years ago

Hi Chris -

We've just posted an update:

Many thanks for your comment and support.


AnimalWire staff

7 years ago

[...] As many of you have probably seen in the news, the zoo is adjacent to Gadhafi’s former compound of Bab al-Aziziya in the heart of Tripoli. This was the scene of recent fighting in which the NATO-backed National Transitional Council (NTC) rebels took control of the city. [...]

7 years ago

Hi Chris -

There is an update by way of press release on -

Here is the copy for your convenience:

IFAW sends urgently needed aid to surviving animals at the Tripoli Zoo
6 September 2011

(Yarmouth Port, MA) - The Tripoli Zoo received critical funds today from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW- <a href="" target="_blank"> that extend a life line to animals caught in the middle of the ongoing armed conflict in Libya

Moments after the National Transitional Council (NTC) took control of the Libyan capital, IFAW’s focus turned to the animals living at the Tripoli Zoo. The zoo is located in very close proximity to Gadhafi’s former compound at Bab al-Aziziya which was the center of intense fighting. More than a thousand animals live in the zoo including a tiger, lions, hyenas, hippos, deer and monkeys to name a few.

“The situation in Libya is still very unstable but we’re doing everything in our power to help the animals caught in the middle of this crisis,” said Dr. Ian Robinson, IFAW’s Emergency Relief Director. “The arrival of this initial aid into Tripoli gives us hope and we continue working hard to establish long-term support for the animals.”

The cost to feed the animals at the Tripoli Zoo is close to $2,000 a day. Large carnivores like the tiger and lions can eat 20-30 pounds of meat a day. IFAW’s support will help ensure that animals have sufficient food and water.

Extended power outages in the capital city have also disabled the zoo’s refrigerators. Under scorching temperatures the existing veterinary medicine has been rendered useless. Not currently available in-country, these medicines are also desperately needed and IFAW is working on ways to get these and other supplies into Tripoli.

“We thank IFAW so much for their interest and support of the Tripoli Zoo in this time of great need,” said Dr. Abdel Fattah Husin, Director of the Tripoli Zoo.

From the onset of social and political unrest in the Middle East last spring, IFAW stepped in to help the Tunis Zoo in Tunisia and two animal welfare groups in Egypt.

In 2003, IFAW rushed a team of experts and supplies to the Baghdad Zoo and worked there for weeks to ensure the well-being and survival of over 400 animals including lions, tigers, brown bears, wolves and primates.

7 years ago

Why has there been no update on this appalling situation? Is anyone actually doing anything at all? Why is the global animal welfare movement doing nothing about this? Please can we have an update?

7 years ago

After living and working in Libya for 3 years, I was evacuated by my employer in late Feb. 2011. Being an animal lover, I have thought of the animals in the Zoo many times. Unfortunately, the animals in the Zoo in Tripoli were not the only animals to go unattended simply due to circumstances. Many expat families were forced to leave their pets due to rapid evacuations (unable to get necessary papers etc. for transport). I know a vet in Tripoli who took many of these expat animals and ended up caring and feeding for at least 60 dogs and cats -- God Bless him. Because of the situation, I have never been able to contact him but hope that will change soon. The Libyan people are wonderful people, but they can only do so much at this time. Let's do something to help the animals affected by the war as well as the people.

7 years ago

We need an update on the libyan zoo animals....
Are we making progress to get these animals food and water?
IFAW please give us latest findings

7 years ago

There has to be a way to truck in or airlift water to these poor animals before it is too late. I had a report earlier this morning relief ships have reached to port of tripoli with water. I just hope some of that reaches the animals. Please keep calling, doing everything you can to help
they need water...

7 years ago

Please... please somebody help those animals... they cannot speak of the horror they are going through. I wish I could help but aside from donate money what can I do. I can't get the image of the hippos standing on that empty pool... I am hopeful that a miracle will happen because I know there are heroes out there...

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