War-Torn Yemen Is Letting Its Zoo Animals Starve to Death
The 265 animals in Yemen’s Taiz Zoo, including rare leopards, haven’t been fed for days. The government is rejecting proposals to save them.
War births refugees. Streaming out of blasted-out cities, civilians are forced to flee their homes, sometimes their families, away from the bombs, into the unknown.
What happens when you can’t leave? That’s the story of abandoned zoos in wartime. It’s the story unfolding now for the animals in Yemen’s Taiz Zoological Gardens, neglected in the cross fire of the country’s civil war. Here 28 Arabian leopards, critically endangered in the wild, haven’t eaten in six days. They and nearly 240 other animals face imminent death if they aren’t fed very soon.
The story began early this year when the Yemeni government, which runs the zoo, stopped paying the staff and abandoned the facility in the face of escalating violence. In February, after