"How Syrian Zoo Animals Escaped a War-Ravaged City"

"It took extreme measures to save the zoo’s last survivors from one of the world’s most dangerous war zones."

"Amir Khalil and his rescue team scanned the horizon for the convoy as they waited anxiously at the Turkish border, sweltering in the 100-degree July heat. They would be on edge until it arrived safely—carrying the latest gaunt, traumatized victims from Syria’s six-year civil war.

These were four-legged refugees: three lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, and two spotted hyenas that somehow had survived at Magic World, a sprawling theme park modeled after Disneyland on the outskirts of Aleppo.

The city has seen some of the worst fighting since the civil war broke out in 2011. A four-year offensive—dubbed “Syria’s Stalingrad” by the press—pounded Aleppo with relentless airstrikes that allegedly included chemical weapons attacks in 2016. The offensive reduced the city to rubble."

Sharon Guynup reports for National Geographic October 5, 2017.

Source: National Geographic, 10/06/2017