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Rapid Response Syria


FOUR PAWS rescues animals near war-torn city of Aleppo

FOUR PAWS has once again launched a high-risk rescue operation in the Middle East. In collaboration with security experts, thirteen abandoned animals were evacuated from the amusement park "Magic World" located in the crisis area around Aleppo.

Despite intense battles in Syria, the truck with starving tigers, bears, lions and hyenas managed to reach the Syria-Turkey border. From there, the animals started their journey to an animal rescue center in Karacabey close to the city of Bursa, where they stayed temporarily to receive proper medical treatment. 

Rescuing 13 animals from their bombed-out home near Aleppo

This time the lives of several animals, including five lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, two hyenas and two huskies, from a neglected zoo near Aleppo in Syria are at risk.


"The ongoing war has taken its toll on the animals. The lack of water, food and veterinary care has left the animals physically and psychologically traumatized. Several animals were also killed by severe bombings. There was no way for them to escape from this deadly trap. With our mission, we want to spread the message that humanity cannot be divided and that these suffering animals deserve to be heard and seen", says FOUR PAWS veterinarian and head of the mission Dr. Amir Khalil.

So, it was clear to him that they had to leave the zoo as soon as possible: "The ever-deteriorating situation of the animals worried us. Also, wild animals such as bears and big cats, trapped in desolate enclosures, can quickly pose a threat to humans.”

Watch the incredible rescue mission

Traumatised animals in need of medical care

The first rescued animals are all exhausted and dehydrated. Some of them suffer from minor wounds but no serious injuries. The FOUR PAWS team provided them with water and immediately, the animals began to feel better. They have started their journey, which has been supported by Turkish animal welfare activists, to an animal protection center in Karacabey close to the city of Bursa. As soon as all animals will have arrived there, FOUR PAWS will start the medical treatment. Once their health condition allows, the former zoo animals will be transferred to a new and species-appropriate home. 

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