Five sick and malnourished African lions held at a park in Sudan’s capital have attracted an online campaign that’s calling for their rescue.
The calls grew on Sunday demanding that the lioned be moved to a better habitat.
The five lions are held in cages at Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi Park in an upscale district of the capital, but for weeks now they have been suffering from shortages of food and medicine.
“I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park… their bones are protruding from the skin,” wrote Osman Salih on Facebook as he launched an online campaign under the slogan #Sudananimalrescue.
“I urge interested people and institutions to help them.”
Park officials and medics said the lions’ conditions deteriorated over the past few weeks, with some losing almost two-thirds of their body weight.
“Food is not always available, so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at Al-Qureshi park told AFP.
The park is managed by Khartoum municipality but also funded in part by private donors.
The campaign triggered crowds of citizens, volunteers and journalists who flocked to the park on Sunday to see the lions after their photographs went viral.
One of the lions was tied with a rope and was fed fluids through a drip as it recovered from dehydration, according to an AFP correspondent.
Chunks of rotten meat covered in flies lay scattered near the cages.
The overall condition of the park itself was also affecting the animals’ health, another official at the park said.
“They are suffering from severe illnesses. They are sick and appear to be malnourished,” said Moataz Mahmoud, one of the caretakers at the park.
It is unclear how many lions are in Sudan, but several are at the Dinder park along the border with Ethiopia.