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Tripoli Zoo: Libyan Lions Left Behind

Tripoli Zoo Lion

First Posted: 09/01/11 02:47 PM ET Updated: 11/01/11 06:12 AM ET

When the Gaddafi family fled Tripoli, they left behind more than luxurious residences and photo albums of Condoleezza Rice.

The Tripoli Zoo, once a favorite destination of Moammar Gaddafi's third son Saadi Gaddafi, has been left in a state of neglect. The animals left behind, including eighteen lions, languish in cages with little food or water.

"There's no one here to tell us how often they're being fed, how much they're getting fed. We don't even know if there's a vet here to look after them," reports CNN's Nic Robertson.

It wasn't always this way. Saadi Gaddafi personally owned nine of the lions, and reportedly took a great interest in the zoo. He had special visiting rights to the zoo, and would visit most days. Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam apparently also had a soft spot for lions, which he allegedly kept in grassy outdoor enclosures on his farm. The Guardian writes:

"When he travelled to Austria to study he took his two albino lions with him. The lions came back to Libya with him, later dying on his farmhouse."

Watch the video from CNN:



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Filed by Clare Richardson  |