Marah Land Zoo in Gaza City can’t afford a zebra. It’s all because of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. Apparently it would cost $40,000 to smuggle a zebra in through the tunnels under the Egyptian border.
So the zoo dyed black stripes on two white donkeys to make them look (a bit) like zebras. The Arabic word for donkey is حمار, while zebra is حمار وحشي (i.e. “wild donkey”). So I suppose it is not a complete fraud.
I do have some concerns about the animal welfare implications of dyeing a donkey though. Actually, I have some animal welfare concerns about having a zoo at all in a location that is effectively a war zone subject to frequent Israeli air strikes.
All very sad.
At least the Palestinian children, most of whom live in abject poverty because of the Israeli blockade, got a rare treat from it I suppose.
Photo: Reuters/Mohammed Salem