Remember the Gaza zoo where 4 lion cubs died earlier this year? The zoo owner blamed the deaths on Israel (surprise, surprise), saying the “blockade” had led to a shortage of food and medicine needed to look after the animals, but as I showed at the time, he was keeping them in cages that were way too small to safely house them.
And it looks like I have been vindicated.
Four Paws say they have taken the animals from Rafah Zoo near the border with Egypt.
Lions, monkeys, peacocks and porcupines were among the 47 creatures rescued.
They were sedated for the journey 300 kilometres (190 miles) through Israel, which gave its permission for the transfer.
Four Paws vet Amir Khalil told the BBC the cages had become too small to house the animals.
Only birds were left behind at the zoo by the group. Two of the lions saved will eventually be moved to South Africa.
Rafah Zoo was opened in 1999. Four Paws drew fresh attention to the suffering of its animals earlier this year when a lioness had its claws removed with garden shears so visitors could play with her.
Animal rights groups have strongly condemned the zoo’s owner Fathy Jomaa for the treatment of the animals. Four lion cubs died at the zoo earlier this year, and Mr Jomaa contacted Four Paws to help move the creatures.
Not only was I right about the cage sizes, but this report indicates some further malpractice by the zoo owner.
Be that as it may, the BBC wouldn’t be the BBC without taking a dig at Israel (who they did have to admit helped facilitate the transfer of the animals). And in this case, it includes an implication that Gaza residents have no other entertainment options. Because, Israel.
Residents were also sad to see the animals leave.
“The zoo is the only place where we could go for a break,” Husam Sabawei told the BBC. “It was the only place for entertaining our children.”
— قناة الأقصى الفضائية (@AqsaTVChannel) August 4, 2016
Repeating a lie by a Gaza resident, without doing any fact checking, is at best poor journalism, and at worst, malicious reporting.
Update: Another untruth I initially missed (hat tip: Jacob).
Gaza is under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and between 2007 and 2014 was ruled by the militant Islamist group Hamas.
No, Gaza is still under the control of Hamas. What game is the BBC playing?