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From Mosul To Safety – The Mission To Rescue Bear Lula & Lion Simba

The mission to rescue bear Lula and lion Simba from the bombed-out Montazah Al-Morour zoo of Mosul finally came to a happy ending. After months of starving, suffering in bomb damaged cages without proper care in a desolate zoo inside the worn-torn city of Mosul.

image/text:  Four Paws

And nine days of waiting at the checkpoint near the border between Iraqi army controlled territory and Kurdistan region, both animals have finally safely arrived at the rescue and rehabilitation centre New Hope in Amman.

image/text:  Four Paws

Simba’s mother died of starvation; locals buried her body next to his cage. Lula had been a mother, but her cubs had not survived. Many of the zoo’s caretakers had also died in the ongoing conflict.


Before leaving Mosul, Khalil and his team trained local volunteers on how to properly care for Lula and Simba, giving them four weeks’ worth of food and medicine while they worked on a permanent rescue plan.

But Lula and Simba were calm and cooperative the whole trip, even though they were stuck in small travel containers, often without enough food or water. “It was an odyssey,” Khalil said. “From the beginning, these animals wanted to survive.”