Gaza Zoo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Gaza Zoo was a leisure complex, series of public gardens, children's amusement park and zoo created by the government of Gaza in the spring of 2010 on government property that was formerly a garbage dump. It closed in 2016.[1]

There also is or was a small private zoo, known as Marah Land Zoo located off Salahadin Street in the Gaza City district of Zeitoun. The zoo's animals, like the local people, have suffered as a result of the difficulties in Gaza and the zoo has featured often in reports by the international media. The zoo was badly damaged during the 2008-09 war. [2][3]

The zoo's stock, in addition to the two lions has included several eagles, some doves, some foxes, Egyptian mongoose, some cats, dogs, ponies, wolves, geese, tortoises, turtles, deer, monkeys, chickens, pheasants, peacocks and a camel.[3]

The animals[edit]

One of the zoo's two lions, Sabrina, which like the other animals in the zoo, got into Gaza by being smuggled through a tunnel from Egypt, was stolen in 2005 and remained missing until being rescued by Hamas militants who found her during a raid on a drug ring.[4][5][6]

Painted donkeys[edit]

One of the most widely reported stories in the international media involved the painting of donkeys to resemble zebras. Nidal Barghout explained that "due to more than two years of the tight Israeli siege on Gaza and the closure of the border crossings, I was unable to import zebras from Africa to our zoo. Then, an idea came to my mind: bring two domestic ordinary white donkeys, paint them black and white.... It is hard to smuggle a real zebra from Egypt to Gaza, firstly, it is too heavy, and secondly, it costs around $50,000 to buy a zebra from Africa and bring it to the border area and smuggle it in ... however, I thought having a zebra in my zoo is very important for the children to see all kinds of jungle and desert wild animals, then the idea occurred to me." [2][3][7][8][9]

Cafe facilities[edit]

The zoo also had, in a small olive grove, a small cafe and some picnic tables.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Gaza Leisure Projects Focus on Fun Not Hardship" August 2, 2010, Reuters, New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "Bleak outlook for bombed Gaza Zoo". 18 February 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via
  3. ^ a b c d Ross, Oakland (8 March 2008). "Making the most of a sad little zoo". Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via Toronto Star.
  4. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times". Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Stolen 2 years ago, lion returns to Gaza Zoo". 9 July 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2017 – via
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^