A team of international wildlife conservationists flew to Khartoum, Sudan, on Monday to assess the health of sour sick lions at a zoo after worldwide outrage following concerning reports of the animals’ condition.
Images of the animals went viral earlier this month showing them emaciated and struggling to move. Some of the animals were swarmed by flies as open wounds on their bodies remained untreated.
The animals were reportedly abandoned in the months of political and economic turmoil that began in late 2018.
One lioness died last week after the reports of their frail health emerged.
“It’s now important to improve the conditions of the animals… and the next step is to find a long-term solution,” AFP quotes Amir Khalil of Four Paws.
Khalil said his team would have a hard time carrying out tests on the animals.
“It’s very difficult to approach the animals and very risky,” he said.
Another team member said it was important to treat the animals in Khartoum first before any relocation can be effected.
“The animals are very weak at this moment, so moving them won’t be the best thing,” said Juno Van Zon.
“I think for now we have to focus on getting the animals healthy and also to train the people.”
African lions are classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.