Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Libyan War's forgotten: Tripoli Zoo animals suffer, lacking food, water

The residents of zoos are often the first to be neglected when cities are hit by man-made or natural disasters.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson discovered a dire situation Tuesday at the Tripoli Zoo, struggling to function as a nationwide conflict rages around it.

Robertson found the gates locked and was told the zoo was under renovation -- that there were no animals there.

But a big cat's roar told a different story, and Robertson followed the sound -- underscored by the echo of gunfire in the distance -- to find enclosures holding a tiger, lions, giant tortoises, hippos, hyenas, bears, monkeys, deer, emus and more. All the animals appeared undernourished and struggling as they waited for food and for water where there was little or none to be found.

A tiger, loose skin hanging on its frame, prowled its enclosure when it sensed visitors. more