Pets & Animals

Sad news: Gaza Strip zoo's newborn lion cubs have died

Mohammed Abed / Today
Two-day-old lion cubs Fajr and Sijil are seen at a zoo in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia on Nov. 19.

The adorable pair of lion cubs born at a Gaza Strip zoo and amusement park on Monday have died, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

"The lions named Fajr and Sijil (Dawn and Clay in Arabic) died today due to a deterioration of their health at birth," zoo supervisor Shadi Hamad told the AFP.

Zoo officials said they lacked adequate resources to bring the cubs back to health due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

"The cause of death is a lack of experience and resources for the birth and treatment of cubs," Hamad said. "Food and medicines for such a situation are not available."

The cubs were born at the Hamas-run Bissan amusement park in the town of Beit Lahia to a lion and lioness smuggled in from Egypt through underground tunnels four years ago. 

Hamas leaders announced the births via Twitter on Tuesday, saying they were the first lion cubs born in the beleaguered region. Their names are references to an eight-day conflict between Hamas and Israel last November.