Hamas Controlled Zoo: Cramped Gaza Zoo Reopens, Only Months After Closure



Cramped Gaza Zoo Reopens, Only Months After Closure

Sunday, 22 September, 2019 – 11:30
Two lions and three cubs are penned in cages only a few square metres in size at a zoo in the Gaza Strip VIA AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat
A lioness is beaten with sticks while her cubs are dragged away — a Gazan zoo closed after a long campaign has reopened, with conditions seemingly as bad as ever.

The Rafah Zoo in the southern Gaza Strip was known for its emaciated animals, with the owners saying they struggled to find enough money to feed them.

In April, international animal rights charity Four Paws took all the animals to sanctuaries, receiving a pledge the zoo would close forever, AFP reported.

But last month it reopened with two lions and three new cubs, penned in cages only a few square meters in size.

Critics say the owners want to bully Four Paws or other animal welfare organizations into giving them thousands of dollars to free the animals into their care.

Four Paws paid the zoo’s owners more than $50,000 in the year before its closure for medical treatments, food and caretakers.

The zoo’s owner insists the reopening is solely for the enjoyment of local residents.

Meanwhile, when AFP visited the zoo recently, the badly stuffed corpse of a lion was displayed near the entrance. An ostrich in a three-meter-square pen pecked endlessly at the cage’s bars, while two monkeys sat chewing on litter.

At the far end the lion and lioness were kept in separate cages, each only a few square meters.

The owners were seeking to remove the cubs from their mother to play with visiting children.

To do so they hit the lioness with sticks and banged on the cage to confuse her, with staff later taunting her when the cubs had been taken out.

“A lion needs 1,000 square meters to play in. Here they have seven square meters,” Mohammed Aweda, a prominent animal enthusiast in Gaza, told AFP.

“The zoo won’t survive during the winter, because they are lacking in daily goods which cost a lot. For you or I or anyone who owns a zoo (in Gaza), the economy is very tough.”

The newly reopened zoo’s manager Ashraf Jumaa, from the same family that owned the old one, said they brought the new lions through tunnels from Egypt. However others suggested they were bought from another animal centre in northern Gaza.

He denied they wanted to blackmail Four Paws.

“The first goal is entertainment, not trade. The main reason we reopened the zoo was people in the area that supported us,” he said.

He said it would be less expensive because there were fewer animals, but admitted they would struggle to afford enough food once the cubs were fully grown.

“Every day they will need between 22 and 30 kilos of meat costing between 100 and 150 shekels (between $28 and $43),” he said.

They currently receive around 50 visitors a day, he said, with tickets on average costing two shekels (around $0.50).

Four Paws said footage it saw from the zoo was “very concerning”.

“The animals are not kept in species-appropriate conditions. They seem to be in bad conditions and urgently need medical attention and proper food,” it said

An official from the Gaza agriculture ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there had been no coordination regarding the zoo’s reopening.

According to AFP, he said Gaza needed a large park meeting international standards.

5 Fascinating Facts About Africa’s “Big Five”



5 Fascinating Facts About Africa’s “Big Five”

Africa is home to some of the most beautiful and iconic wildlife on the planet. Thoughts of the savannah almost naturally cue the sound of tribal African songs and the colorful coats of wild cats. Of the most iconic African mammals, none are more revered than the “Big Five”—lions, elephants, water buffalo, rhinos, and leopards. These are the five beasts that are most commonly sought after by photo-happy tourists on safaris (and among the animals most in need of our protection).

Most are highly social and exhibit fascinating relationships with one another, as well as plenty of other intriguing traits. Keep reading to find out what makes these majestic beasts African royalty.

Female Lions Bond for Life

Credit: rusm / iStock

Lion prides are led by a single male who must ward off challengers for as long as he leads the pride. Male lions don’t have a reputation for getting along very well. Conflicts between male lions are vicious, with much at stake. In fact the impetus for the strength and size observed by the large cat is less an evolutionary adaptation for predation than it is a result of selective breeding from generations of fighting one another. Once male cubs have come of age, they are ousted from the pack by the pride male. Female lions, however, live among one another for the duration of their lives, even in the event that it is taken over by another male.

African Elephants Live in Matriarchal Hierarchies

Credit: Andrew Linscott / iStock

Elephants are social animals that live in herds, and every group needs a leader. From times of crisis to day-to-day squabbles, African elephants turn to the matriarch of their herd for leadership. This elephant is usually the oldest in the herd and often related to the previous matriarch. While being at the top certainly has its appeal, heavy is the head that wears the crown. Matriarch elephants average two hours of sleep per day across several naps and will sometimes go without sleep at all for several days at a time. Undoubtedly, the survival of the herd demands vigilance.

Water Buffalo Live in Democracies

Credit: CarlaMc / iStock

While African buffalo may be dragging their hooves to draft up their version of the Magna Carta, they do exhibit an egalitarian approach to decision-making. Throughout the day, the herd alternates between grazing and seeking water. When it comes time to decide which to pursue, individuals in the herd each turn in the direction of a food or water source – a meadow or a water hole.  One buffalo will serve as an initiator and choose a direction to walk in, but if the other members of the herd aren’t having it, they’ll stay put. Once an initiator moves in the direction preferred by most members, the entire group will mobilize towards their next destination.

Rhinos “Mwonk” When They’re Happy

Credit: WLDavies / iStock

As with most of the animals on this list, rhinos are social creatures that live in groups. A rhino herd is called a “crash,” and the members of the crash interact with one another on a daily basis. In mammals, socialization almost always entails vocalizing, and rhinos make a variety of sounds to communicate with one another. Honks are signals of aggression preceding fights, bleats are signs of submission, and mothers communicate with their calves through moo-grunts. But one of the most surprising sounds to come out of the 2-ton horned land mammal is the sound it makes when it’s happy, which can only be described as a “mwonk.”

Leopards can Beat Your Bench Press, by a lot

Credit: 1001slide / iStock

Two of the most distinctive characteristics of leopards are the rosettes (spots) on their fur and their climbing abilities. Though leopards spend the majority of their time on the ground, they will frequently climb trees to obtain a height advantage for pouncing on their prey, and they like to take their meals back up to the tree limbs to enjoy some privacy. As primates, humans are decent climbers as well, but we’re usually not lugging up the entire body mass of large prey. One leopard was observed in the wild hauling a young 125-kg giraffe into a tree for its meal.

5 National Animals from Countries Around the Globe



5 National Animals from Countries Around the Globe

Did you know that most countries around the world have a national animal? Of course, you’re familiar with the bald eagle as the national symbol of the United States, but you might be surprised to find that this regal bird isn’t the only official national animal for our country. In the course of creating this trivia list, we realized that there were so many interesting national animals that it was hard to settle on just five countries. Instead, we decided to highlight the five most popular animals that consistently appear as national symbols around the globe.

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Mythical Animals – 15 nations

Credit: pong6400 / iStock

This is mind-blowing, but yes, the most frequent national animals worldwide are ones that don’t actually exist. It’s hard to believe that nations would choose these, but they have. Of the 15 mythical creatures that make the list, the most popular is a fabled eagle that ranges from a double-headed version for Russia (although this isn’t their only national animal) to the Bundesadler for Germany and Austria, which is also known as a federal eagle. For the other nations, fantasy lions are the second popular option followed by dragons, unicorns, and other birds. The full list of mythical national animals includes:

  • Austrian Bundesadler/Bundesadler: Austria and Germany
  • Dragon: China, Bhutan (known as a Druk), and Wales/United Kingdom (known as Y Ddraig Goch)
  • Chollima (winged horse): North Korea
  • Cock of Barcelos (bird): Portugal
  • Double-Headed Eagle: Russia
  • Double-Tailed Lion: Czech Republic
  • Garuda (bird): Indonesia
  • Leo Belgicus (lion): Belgium
  • Phoenix: Greece
  • Unicorn: Scotland/United Kingdom
  • White Eagle: Serbia
  • Turul (bird): Hungary

Lion – 15 nations

Credit: WLDavies / iStock

If you ignore animals that don’t exist, the most popular (real) animal that serves as a national symbol is the lion. The scientific name of the king of the jungle is Panthera leo, and this majestic animal is a symbol of strength for nations on almost every continent. Hands down, though, the lion is a popular option for African nations. Of the 15 countries that claim the lion as their symbol, seven are located in Africa: Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Sierra Leone, and Togo. The United Kingdom also claims the real lion as a national symbol thanks to England. Other countries that also revere and identify with this bold animal include Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.

However, there’s another species that serves as a national symbol. The Persian lion (Panthera leo persica) is the national animal of Iran, although it is now only natively found in India. Also known as the Asiatic lion, this particular species was on the decline but has since rebounded due to intensive conservation efforts.

Eagle – 8 nations

Credit: INNA TABAKOVA / iStock

Coming in a semi-close third after mythical animals and real lions is the eagle. While a variety of species act as national symbols, as a whole the eagle is a strong, confident and bold bird that creates the perfect image for any nation. The eagle serves as a symbol for nations on five continents: North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America.

  • Mexico: golden eagle
  • United States: bald eagle
  • Zimbabwe: African fish eagle
  • Nigeria: eagle
  • Egypt: steppe eagle
  • Poland: white-tailed eagle
  • Philippines: Philippine eagle
  • Panama: harpy eagle

Leopard – 4 nations

Credit: Simoneemanphotography / iStock

Much like the eagle, there are a variety of leopard species that serve as national symbols for four countries evenly split between Asia and Africa. In Asia, the snow leopard—also known as Panthera uncia—is the national animal for Pakistan and Afghanistan. And in Africa, the leopard (Panthera pardus) represents Rwanda and Somalia.

Tiger – 4 nations

Credit: Zocha_K / iStock

Big cats continue to dominate this list as we close out with the tiger. And again, it’s not just one type of tiger as various species represent four nations. The Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) serves as the national animal for India and Bangladesh. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) proudly represents South Korea. And finally, the Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) is the national animal of Malaysia.

Interesting notes:

  • It’s common for countries to have more than one national animal—especially if a mythical animal is one of them.
  • The United Kingdom and India both have the most national animals with five entries each—including the two mythical animals for Wales and Scotland.
  • The United States has two national animals. Aside from the bald eagle, the American bison (Bison bison) is the other symbol.
  • Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and North Korea are the only countries solely represented by mythical animals.

Humor Poem: Cats



4 Cats in the house, chaotic as that may sound

Mother-in-Law is scared of cats, doesn’t come around

2 Big ole males, 3 years apart, 2 different Breeds

Finally act like brothers, they don’t try to tear the house down

I used to have me some dogs but they have all disappeared


About two months ago we got a couple of kittens to raise

Been together since birth though different Mothers and Breeds

Finally the four are friends as together they romp and play

The kittens are Ladies or they would have been dead right away

Kittens are so tiny it is so much fun to sit and watch they play



Some Cultures believe that Cats are the Guardians of Hell

I can see why people think that by the way they eat their prey

No visitors ever come here twice with the cats out in the yard

Not with two Lions, one Tiger and a huge Black Panther on display

If we could just make it to our car, it would be we who run away

Big Bad Me



Big Bad Me

In my home, I am quiet

I see you, I smell you

Unless I want you

You will never know it

My fur is soft

My stripes do blend

My steps are stealth

My breath brings chills to any man

Nine feet long, four feet tall

Five hundred pounds

In trees, on grass, or leaves

Unless I want you too,

You will never see me

When you’re in my home

You’re on my land

Your fear in my nostrils

Your blood in the sand

My fangs in your throat,

You silly man

Revelation Chapter #9


Before we jump into chapter #9 I would like us to remember the last verse of chapter #8 and it’s warnings to us humans. “And I beheld and heard an Angel flying in the midst of Heaven, saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the Earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three Angels, which are yet to sound.” Remember, these events are during the Tribulation period (7 years), the Rapture will have already happened. Actually these last three Trumpets will occur during the back half (last 3 1/2 years) of the Tribulation period. So, if you are a person who is alive at the at the time of the Rapture (second coming of Christ) and you are a faithful follower of Jesus (Yeshua) you will not be here on Earth to have to face the horrors, you will be in Heaven. Folks, please take a moment to read in the book of Daniel 9:24 to help you with your understanding of the events for these times will be terrible times for anyone to be alive and have to try to live through.


This chapter has 21 verses and the 5th and the 6th Trumpets will be brought to your understanding as we read through them, Lord willing.

“And the 5th Trumpet sounded and I saw a star fall from Heaven onto the Earth:and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit (Hell).”

“And he opened the bottomless pit and there arose smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a large furnace; and the Sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.”

“And there came out of the smoke locust upon the Earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the Earth have power.”

“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the Earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree; but to only hurt those men which do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.”

“And it was given to the locust that they should not kill the men, but that the men should be tormented by their stings for five months. And their torment will be like unto the torment of a scorpion when he strikes a man.”

“In those days men shall seek death and shall not find it. They shall desire to die but death shall flee from them.”

“The shape of the scorpions were like unto horses prepared for battle. And on their heads were crowns like unto gold and their faces were as the faces of men.”

“They had hair like unto the hair of women and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.”

“They had breastplates as it were the breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.”

“They had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails and their power was to hurt men for five months.”

“They had a king over them, which was the Angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon. But in the Greek tongue his name is Apollyon (Destroyer).”

“One woe is past, but behold, there comes two more woes hereafter.”

“And the 6th Angel sounded and I heard a voice from the four horns of the Golden Altar which is before God.”

“Saying to the 6th Angel which had the Trumpet, loose the four Angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.”

“And the four Angels were freed, which were prepared for an hour and a day and a month and a year for they were to slay one-third of all mankind.”

“And the number of the Army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousands: and I heard the number of them.”

“And thus I saw the horses in the vision and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire and of Jacinth and Brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and Brimstone.”

“By these three was one-third of all men killed, by the fire and by the smoke and by the Brimstone which came out of their mouths.”

“For their power was in their mouths and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents and they had heads and with them they do hurt men.”

“And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands. In that they should not worship Devils or idols of gold and silver and brass of stone and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.”

“Neither did they repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”


In case you were wondering about ‘the Star’ that is spoken of in verse one this ‘Star’ without any doubt, is Satan, the Devil himself. In case you are doubting me or simply don’t believe me, I have a few proofs I would like you to read, they will help you to understand, to see better. These Scripture passages are:

Revelation 12: 7-9

2 Corinthians 11: 14

Luke 10: 18

And lastly: Isaiah  14: 12


In verse two it is pretty obvious that the ‘Pit’ is Hell and He which rules Hell is Satan. If you have knowledge of what Locusts do you will notice that the ones spoken of here in verse three will do the exact opposite of normal locusts. Normal locusts pretty much eat up anything that is green like grass and the trees but they leave humans alone. These locusts leave the Earth alone but attack the humans. Verse six say a lot about this event on mankind. “And in those days men shall seek death and shall not find it and they shall desire to die and death shall flee from them.” If you are not understanding the fourth verse please go to the first book in the Bible, Genesis 4: 15 in regards of Adam and Eves son Cain, this should help you to understand better.


Concerning verse 13 this is where we come to the Angel and the 6th Trumpet. This is where Jesus orders this Angel to free the four imprisoned Angels from the river Euphrates. At this time Jesus has broken the 7th of the 7 Seals. Next the people who are still alive will have to face the 7 ‘Personalities’ then the 7 ‘Bowls of Rath’. This area that is being spoken of is in modern-day Iraq. Most people in the wired world know of the wars, hate, and murdering that has been going on in this area in our lifetimes. The Garden of Eden was in extreme north-west Iran very close to the border with Iraq, and the ‘Tower of Babel’ is in western Iraq. For those of you who are paying any attention to what is going on in the world it should be of no surprise that so much more evil is yet to sprout up out of this region of the world.


In the time of the ‘Great Tribulation’ a third of all of mankind will be killed, I would like you to think about that for a moment. The population of the Earth today is supposed to be 7.4 billion people. So, a third of this population would be almost 2.5 billion people, shortly before this one-fourth of the world’s population had already been killed. So, let’s do a little bit of math, 1/4 of 7.4 billion is 1.85 billion people dead so that leaves 5.550 billion, now divide this by one-third which equals almost another 1.85 billion people. So if these two events were to happen today that would equal 3,7 billion dead people out of 7.4 billion, so that would mean that half of the total population of Earth would be wiped out. Folks, we humans are facing some very dark times. We are told in verses twenty and twenty-one that the humans that are still alive after these first two plagues still have a cold heart and no intelligence as they will refuse to repent and to turn their lives over to God, how sad, how stupid.


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