News Good News Lioness rescued from zoo in war-torn Aleppo gives birth

Lioness rescued from zoo in war-torn Aleppo gives birth

Syria lion rescue
A vet who accompanied the lioness to Jordan said he believed she waited for a safe space to give birth. Photo: AP/Four Paws
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A lioness rescued from a defunct zoo in war-torn Aleppo has given birth just hours after arriving at a wildlife park in Jordan.

Dana and 12 other animals – including four other lions, two bears and two tigers – were transported from the Syrian city of Aleppo to Jordan by the international animal charity Four Paws, stuck in cages during the three-week journey.

They arrived at the Al Ma’wa reserve in northern Jordan on Friday.

Dr Amir Khalil, a vet who accompanied the animals, said he had been worried Dana would give birth while in transit in a cage.

In such a case, it is unlikely the cub would have survived, he said.

Instead, Hajar, Arabic for “the immigrant”, was born sometime on Friday night in the reserve.

Staff at the reserve discovered the cub when they checked on Dana on Saturday morning.

Dr Khalil said he believed the lioness waited for a safe space to give birth.

“She is a mum, she had the instinct, it’s a miracle,” he said.

The cub was born white, though that colour could change, and weighed an estimated 1.5 to 2 kilograms, said Dr Khalil who has not been able yet to examine Hajar.

The gender is still unknown.

UPDATE about lioness Dana and her baby:Yesterday, we announced the big news that lioness Dana, who we rescued from the zoo near Aleppo, welcomed a healthy baby into the world! After the long and exhausting journey from Syria to Jordan, it seems that she waited until she was in a safe place to finally give birth. We are more than happy that everything went well, and that Dana takes good care of her newly born baby in her new home at Al Ma'wa for Nature and Wildlife. An ultrasound examination performed two weeks ago showed that she is expecting two cubs, so stay tuned for more news!

Posted by FOUR PAWS UK on 2017年8月14日

On Sunday, the cub was mostly sleeping next to its mother in a cage in the reserve.

Dana has been bonding with the cub, nursing and cleaning it.

An ultrasound performed during a stopover in Turkey showed Dana carrying two cubs.

Dr Khalil said it was unclear whether the second cub was still waiting to be born or whether it was born dead close to the time of Hajar’s birth and was eaten by the mother.

The reserve now has 25 lions, tigers and bears rescued from war zones across the conflict-scarred region, including Iraq and the Gaza Strip.

The birth of the cub was a powerful symbol of hope, Dr Khalil said.

“After the dark, there is light,” he said with a wide smile.