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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

BREAKING NEWS: FOUR PAWS evacuates nearly 50 wild animals from conflict zone in Sudan

Animals included lions, hyenas, wildcats, birds and deer.


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Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has completed another rescue in Sudan, which saw 15 lions, four hyenas and 28 other wild animals in urgent need of help. This is the second time the organisation has evacuated these animals from a conflict zone; in November FOUR PAWS transferred them from a rescue centre in Khartoum to Dinder National Park and Um Barona National Park as the Wad Madani area was safe at the time. Since then, Wad Madani has become a new front in Sudan’s civil war, and the lives of the animals were again put at risk. Together with the Sudanese Wildlife authorities, FOUR PAWS is working to rehome them to a safe place at one of its sanctuaries. FOUR PAWS President and CEO Josef Pfabigan said:


‘The situation in Sudan highlights the massive unpredictability of conflict zones. An area that is deemed safe today, can become the centre of crisis tomorrow. In this case we are glad we could get the animals out in time. We had to find a swift solution in a high-risk emergency situation, and thanks to a collaborative effort, together with the Sudanese authorities and our global network, we did.’



Copyright Hristo Vladev


The animals were transported out of the immediate conflict zone to Kassala with approval from both conflict factions as it was too great a risk for the FOUR PAWS team to enter Wad Madani, and from there, they were taken to Port Sudan. This was an immense undertaking which required transporting the animals over 1,400km and manually carrying the transport crates, as well as organising fuel, food, water and a cargo plane to take all involved out of Sudan. The team also provided veterinary care for the animals. ‘FOUR PAWS has all the necessary expertise and resources to care for and protect the animals we rescue in a species-appropriate environment for the rest of their lives,’ Pfabigan added. ‘We continue to keep everyone affected by the conflict in Sudan in our thoughts.’



Copyright Hristo Vladev


Other animals rescued by the organisation included wildcats, birds and deer. The birds and deer could be released back into the wild or be locally rehomed, but those needing intensive veterinary care had to be transported, as this could not be provided in Sudan. Dr Amire Khalil, who led the rescue mission, said:


 ‘We knew as soon as we heard about the fighting in Wad Madani that we would need to get the animals out, so they have even a chance at survival. These animals were stuck in the middle of the conflict zone since the outbreak of the war. They are traumatised and weakened. This was a highly challenging effort and one of the most difficult emergency missions we ever did. When one plan became too risky because of fighting and escalations, we found another, safer way. It was very emotional for the whole team to receive these animals for a second time now although we had already thought them safe. Since some of the animals are in worrying shape, we have done everything we can for now to provide food, pain relief and veterinary care for them. Transporting the animals out of Sudan is the only way now to make sure they can finally recover in peace.’




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