In January 2020, photos of famished lions in a zoo in Sudan circulated the globe and immediately caught our attention. Due to a lack of financial resources, the animals were left to starve. So we went there to help them.
Our rescue team was in the capital Khartoum, where the big cats and other animals were starving in the Al Qurashi Family Park. The Sudanese authorities granted the team, led by FOUR PAWS veterinarian Dr. Amir Khalil, permission to enter the country and provide the animals with urgently needed food and medical care.
The FOUR PAWS team consisting of international wildlife experts and veterinarians evaluated the situation on-site, making sure the lions are properly diagnosed, treated, and able to recover from their ordeal. The big cats were extremely malnourished and in dire need of help.
“We were shocked by the pictures of the gaunt lions. It was clear to us that we had to act quickly because the animals would not last much longer. As soon as we are on site, we will provide the severely malnourished lions with proper food and medical care. The highest priority at the moment is to stabilize and improve the health condition of the animals, and determine long-term solutions for them.”
-Dr. Amir Khalil, FOUR PAWS veterinarian and head of the emergency mission
Friday, 11th November
After years of effort and multiple challenges, it finally happened! Kandaka and Mansour were physically able to be transferred to Al Ma'wa for the special treatment and rehabilitation they so urgently need. In joint collaboration between FOUR PAWS and Princess Alia Foundation (PAF), and with the support of Sudan Animal Rescue (SAR) and Sudanese Wildlife Authority, we were able to transfer the two Sudanese lions and bring them into their new species-appropriate home, the Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife sanctuary in Jordan.
Friday, September 2nd
Sometimes, even with months of careful preparation, missions do not go as planned. Such was the case with our recent attempt to transfer lions Kandaka & Mansour. Rest assured that we will never give up & are doing everything we can to bring the lions to Jordan!Until then, here is a summary of all the steps we have taken to help these two lions during our missions to Sudan.
Tuesday, 3rd August
Sometimes rescue missions don’t go as planned...
Dr Amir Khalil, the entire on-site team, as well as Dr Frank Göritz from the IZW (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research) prepared everything needed for the transfer of the two lions from Sudan to Jordan. Several months and weeks went into this complicated process, but last minute, it didn’t work out as planned due to political reasons and bureaucratic obstacles in the unstable country.
The fact that we had to leave Kandaka and Mansour behind, deeply saddens us, but we won’t give up and we will keep on trying to finish this mission successfully!
Friday, July 22nd
Our hands are tied...
Due to the current unstable political and security situation in Sudan resulting in bureaucratic obstacles, we unfortunately have been forced to pause the mission for now. Our team was on the ground checking and providing treatment to Kandaka and Mansour. We were ready and hoping to bring them to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife sanctuary, a cooperation project in Jordan between the Princess Alia Foundation and FOUR PAWS.
But as we, unfortunately, cannot guarantee a safe transfer of Kandaka and Mansour at the moment, we had to make the hard decision to postpone our mission, leaving them in good care with our partners at Sudan Animal Rescue.
We will always do our best to give animals a species-appropriate home for a lifetime, so we will continue to fight for these two lions!
Wednesday, July 20th
Our team has arrived in Sudan!
After weeks of preparation and logistical planning, Dr. Amir Khalil and our team traveled to Khartoum. During the next few days, they will be busy preparing for the challenging transfer of Kandaka and Mansour. We are working closely together with Sudan Animal Rescue – the local organization that has been caring for the lions over the last two years. The team has a long list of tasks to complete. Today, they began work on the transport crates and Dr. Khalil examined Kandaka and Mansour. He will begin conditioning the lions for their transfer to Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife, our partner sanctuary in Jordan, where the big cats will get the medical care they need and the species-appropriate life they deserve.
In 2020, lioness Kandaka was only skin and bones, slowly starving to death in the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo in Sudan. It was a race against time, but our team of experts managed to save her with the help of local activists. For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, FOUR PAWS could not enter Sudan, therefore, the local organization Sudan Animal Rescue took care of Kandaka and fellow lion, Mansour. Now we can finally go back and bring Kandaka and Mansour to one of our sanctuaries, to ensure they get the needed medical attention and a fresh start in life.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, it is not possible for FOUR PAWS to enter Sudan at the moment. However, FOUR PAWS is in constant contact with the local volunteers, who look after the remaining animals in the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and the lockdown in Sudan it is very hard for the volunteers to organize regular visits to the zoo. We stick to our commitment to provide food and care for the animals and currently have to rely mainly on the zoo staff and on our local partner Sudan Animal Rescue.
Monday, March 2nd
We are delighted to see the improvements of one of lions who was starving at the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo in Sudan. Mansour is continuing to gain weight following the specialist diet provided by our wildlife experts and dedicated local volunteers. He is getting stronger each day and is making huge improvements that we’re delighted to be able to share with you. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us throughout this mission.
Tuesday, February 25th
Kandaka’s examination results! The overall health condition of Kandaka has improved significantly since we provided the urgent first aid and started her treatment. After suspecting the lioness had sight issues, we were able to conduct a thorough examination lead by Dr Frank Goeritz. Additionally, Kandaka’s kidneys are impaired. She is still very fragile and in the long run will require constant monitoring by experts, a species-appropriate place to live and special husbandry, diet and medical care. We will continue to provide food and medicine for the animals at Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo until a long-term solution is found together with the wildlife authorities.
Friday, February 21st
Renown wildlife veterinarian Dr Frank Goeritz, and a team of FOUR PAWS staff, will perform a thorough examination of lioness Kandaka. The team was also invited to give a theoretical and practical training session on the basics of wildlife veterinary medicine and conservation at the Veterinary College of the Sudan University of Science and Technology. The students were extremely interested to gain some of the experience of one of the leading experts in the field and the lecture hall was full of students and graduates from the college. The highlight of the training was the use of the darting for anesthesia and the diagnostic equipment.
Tuesday, February 18th
Update about the hyenas! Our team on-site continues to care for the animals at the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo. The two hyenas, named by our local volunteers as REVA and MEMI, have had sand put on the floors of their enclosures, as the concrete was causing wounds for their paws. For Reva, who is pregnant with three cubs, extra attention was needed. She has been equipped with a large cardboard box, so she is able to hide and rest. Inside, the team put a bed of straw and soft fabric. Both the hyenas are enjoying their new enrichment.
Thursday, February 13th
After last week's developments, Mansour had time to settle back in his original enclosure at the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo. The Sudanese authorities surprisingly relocated the lion to another zoo without our knowledge. Our vet, Dr. Amir Khalil, had to intervene because the new surroundings did not meet the requirements for the fragile big cat. Mansour was brought back unharmed. Now we can keep a close eye on him together with our volunteers on-site.
Tuesday, February 11th
Teamwork is key! Since the beginning of our Sudan mission, the FOUR PAWS team on-site has been working closely together with local volunteers to help the suffering animals at the Qurashi Family Park Zoo. All our Sudanese volunteers are young vets, who have recently graduated or are about to graduate. They are committed not only to help the animals from this zoo but also to promote animal welfare in the whole country and change the public perception about veterinarians.
Monday, February 10th
Our vet, Dr. Amir Khalil, is keeping a close eye and monitoring the animals at the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo in Sudan. Over the weekend, he examined the lioness Kandaka and has found she is making huge improvements. She is already getting much stronger and has since made great improvements in being able to use her hind legs.
Friday, February 7th
Recent developments in Sudan! In the past days, we have been in ongoing negotiations with the Sudanese government in order to find a species-appropriate home for the animals. The wildlife authorities announced that Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo will be closed down. Yesterday, the government stated that the animals needed to be moved as quickly as possible, and evacuation of the animals began without our knowledge. The tortoises also found at the Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo have been moved to a wildlife center, a facility with a better environment for their needs.
Wednesday, February 5th
The pregnant hyena. Our team in Sudan were surprised to find out that one of the hyenas is pregnant with three cubs and will give birth in about two months.
Tuesday, February 4th
The two hyenas at Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo get medical check ups.
Monday, February 3rd
An inside look at the current mission in Sudan. Besides Kandaka and Mansour, the two other lions, a male and a female, have received special care from our emergency team on-site.
Sunday, February 2nd
Kandaka is now recognizing the FOUR PAWS team and the local volunteers: She now readily waits for them to approach, and waits eagerly to be fed.
Saturday, February 1st
Emaciated male lion Mansour shows signs of improvement.
Friday, January 31st
Dr. Amir Khalil’s team continues to take care of all the animals at Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo, undertaking further medical examinations.
Thursday, January 30th
The FOUR PAWS team on the ground continues to work tirelessly to improve the health conditions of the animals at Al Qurashi Family Park zoo.
Thursday, January 30th
Another day in Sudan brings promising news. The team have continued their work at Al Qurashi Family Park Zoo with a medical examination of the emaciated male lion.
Wednesday, January 29th
Our team started emergency treatment of lioness Kandaka, who is emaciated, weak, and on the brink of a coma. This was the first step on the long road to a possible recovery.
Tuesday, January 28th
After several hours of infusions, lioness Kandaka showed some improvement. She was able to stand up and walk for a while, and what is even better - she was willing to eat.
Tuesday, January 28th
Infusion therapy for lioness Kandaka goes on for a couple of hours. Our team is ready to stay with her as long as it takes for Kandaka to get as much of the life-saving medication as she can.
Tuesday, January 28th
The team has started the rehydration treatment for Kandaka, the poor lioness who is fighting for her life. The next hours will be critical for her and the team. The rehydration therapy involves infusion of fluids, vitamins, and minerals. She is a fighter and we hope will fight to survive.
Monday, January 27th
#SaveSudanLions - Dr. Amir Khalil and his team arrived in Khartoum!
Thursday, January 23rd:
In the past few days, photos of the emaciated lions circulated around the world and caused an international outcry. Due to a lack of financial resources, the starving animals could no longer be fed adequately.