SOUF, Jordan – Thirteen animals that had been trapped in harsh conditions in a zoo in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo have been evacuated to a wildlife reserve in Jordan.
Five lions, two tigers, two bears, two hyenas and two dogs were being released Friday into the Al-Ma'wa reserve in northern Jordan.
The Austrian-based animal charity Four Paws had rescued the animals from the Magic World zoo in Aleppo with help from Turkey. The group says the zoo's owner, who fled Syria after the 2011 outbreak of civil war there, granted permission.
Dr. Amir Khalil, a vet for the charity, says some of the animals are fine while others suffer from blindness as well as heart, liver and kidney disease. One of the lions is due to give birth within two weeks.