Gaza zoo monkeys killed in Israeli strikes

Cape Town – A zoo in northern Gaza is suffering collateral damage after Israeli strikes left several monkeys dead, with many of the surviving animals facing starvation.

CNN reports that eight to 10 monkeys were killed and describes the scene of a baboon desperately picking at the floor for bits of seeds, with the carcass of its mate and five offspring nearby, decomposing in the day’s heat.

The carcasses of the monkeys were scattered across scorched grass between the pens and a crocodile lounged in the hot sun with barely any water in its enclosure, according to the report.

The zoo forms a 2.5 acre part of the Al-Bisan recreational park in Jabalya, northern Gaza.

Zookeeper Wasef Hamad told Al Jazeera the area experienced frequent Israeli bombings. According to Hamad more than half the animals have been killed, with most being hit by shrapnel, and some birds dying of thirst.

There are conflicting reports on which animals were killed. According to Al Jazeera seven monkeys, two ostriches, a deer, a llama, two storks, some porcupines, and eight eagles were killed.

The CNN reported the deaths of 10 monkeys, a peacock, a gazelle, a lion, and a fox.

The surviving animals now face starvation and disease risks in the aftermath of the strikes.