Tags: aleppo | tigers | rescued | dutch

Aleppo Tigers Settle Into New Dutch Home

Aleppo Tigers Settle Into New Dutch Home

A tiger, one of 13 animals transported from a zoo in the Syrian city of Aleppo, is seen at Al Ma'wa wildlife reserve in the city of Jerash, near Amman, Jordan, on Aug. 11, 2017. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 01:34 PM

Two Aleppo tigers, rescued traumatised and emaciated from war in Syria, have arrived in a Dutch refuge and are settling into their new, quiet home far from the conflict.

Brother and sister, Sultan and Sayeeda, saved from Aleppo earlier this year, "handled the trip well and arrived safely," said Juno van Zon, handler for the big cats at the sanctuary where the two will be cared for in the northern Dutch town of Nijeberkoop.

Both barely a year old, the female tiger stretched out in the sand of her new enclosure next to a small pool where she had already taken a swim, and seemed at ease.

Her brother was more anxious, pacing the area close to the door, ready to bolt for cover inside.

"The animals are remarkably really calm. Especially the female here, well you can see her, she's just lying (down) and she's exploring her enclosure," said Van Zon.

"The male is still a bit afraid, but to be honest, that is more than normal."

But he highlighted how both big cats seemed to have difficulty maintaining their balance when they walk, and their fur "is really pale, not shiny at all and that's also not a good sign."

Both were also easily startled by sudden noises, an indication of what they had endured in a war-zone.

Footage from the Magic World zoo and amusement park in Aleppo showed "a lot of destroyed buildings, bullet holes in the walls. So... fighting was going on there too. Like people, animals can be traumatised," added Van Zon.

The Four Paws charity, which goes to the aid of animals in distress around the world, brought the tigers out of Aleppo and into Turkey at the end of July along with five lions, two bears, two hyenas and two dogs.

After a short stay in Turkey to be cared for and treated for neglect, the animals were taken to Jordan in mid-August, where most of the other beasts are staying for the time being.

Sultan and Sayeeda have already put on weight and are in a better condition than when they were found. Once they are fully restored to health, Van Zon will accompany them to a new life either in another sanctuary in The Netherlands or perhaps to a reserve in South Africa.

© AFP 2018

   
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Two Aleppo tigers, rescued traumatised and emaciated from war in Syria, have arrived in a Dutch refuge and are settling into their new, quiet home far from the conflict.
aleppo, tigers, rescued, dutch
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2017-34-18
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 01:34 PM
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