Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Have you seen these animals?

Thanks to David Frankfurter for this article - originally from Ha'aretz:

In a daring and apparently well-planned operation, masked gunmen kidnapped a lion from the Gaza Zoo, Palestinian media reported Sunday morning.

Zoo manager Saud al-Shawwa has offered a reward of 1,000 U.S. dollars for the return of the lion and of two Arabic-speaking parrots which were also stolen in the 30-minute heist.

According to the reports, four gunmen armed with Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifles broke into the zoo and overpowered the guard.They nabbed the two white parrots and then threw a blanket over the head of the lion. Their attempt to capture a second lion failed after the animal reportedly proved too fierce for them.

The robbery occurred two weeks ago but was only made public over the weekend in order to allow the police time to try and find the thieves. Al-Shawwa said it was unclear why anyone would want to steal a lion which consumed at least three kilograms of meat a day."This lion can't be bought or sold on the black market," he said.

Palestinian sources speculated the lion was taken by a criminal gang who wanted the animal as a trophy "show of force".