See How Syrian Zoo Animals Escaped a War-Ravaged City
Amir Khalil and his rescue team scanned the horizon for the convoy as they waited anxiously at the Turkish border, sweltering in the 100-degree July heat. They would be on edge until it arrived safely—carrying the latest gaunt, traumatized victims from Syria’s six-year civil war.
These were four-legged refugees: three lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, and two spotted hyenas that somehow had survived at Magic World, a sprawling theme park modeled after Disneyland on the outskirts of Aleppo.
The city has seen some of the worst fighting since the civil war broke out in 2011. A four-year offensive—dubbed “Syria’s Stalingrad” by the press—pounded Aleppo with relentless airstrikes that allegedly included chemical weapons attacks in 2016. The offensive reduced the city