Spotlight Libya: Crisis over for animals at the Tripoli Zoo

A lioness waiting for meal time at the Tripoli Zoo.Almost eight months after war exploded all around them, the animals at the Tripoli Zoo have finally found peace.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) Dr. Hedia Baccar met with zoo directors this month to deliver the latest installment of IFAW aid and confirm that officials in the capital of Libya are taking full responsibility going forward.

We first reported on the crisis eight months ago after the rebel army launched an offensive straight to Gaddafi’s compound of Bab-al-Aziziya located next door to the Tripoli Zoo, home to almost 900 defenseless animals.

The skeleton staff that remained at the zoo faced the worst of conditions as they scrambled to keep animals safe and alive with no electricity, no running water and more important, no way of getting food.

IFAW’s Dr. Hedia Baccar receives award from Tripoli Zoo Director Dr. Abdulfatah Husni and Dr. Abdulmola Beshyah. Thirteen days after Gaddafi’s regime was overthrown in the battle for Tripoli, IFAW managed to get funds to the zoo.

That first delivery of foreign aid was the start of a lifeline into the zoo that culminated last week. During the effort, IFAW teams led by veterinarian Dr. Ian Robinson and Dr. Hedia Baccar visited the zoo to meet the courageous staff at the Tripoli Zoo and the animals caught in the war zone.

“It was a great day. The animals are receiving the care they need and deserve and the management staff at the Tripoli Zoo was so grateful for IFAW’s support during these very difficult times," said Dr. Hedia Baccar, IFAW Middle East Advisor.

“None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of IFAW’s valued donors around the world," said Dr. Ian Robinson IFAW Animal Rescue Director. "Their immediate action proved to be life-saving for the animals caught in this conflict,” 

-- MB

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy