New photos have been released that show that a tiger rescued from the 'world's worst zoo' in Palestine has made a full recovery at his new home in South Africa.
Laziz was the only big cat that remained alive at the Khan Younis zoo in Gaza and had been starved for two months when he was finally rescued in 2016 after widespread outcry against the conditions at the zoo.
Laziz the tiger. Credit: Caters News Agency
The now-closed zoo was also partially damaged by rockets and bombs during the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Luckily for Laziz, he was rescued and taken to the LionsRock Sanctuary for big cats in South Africa. Despite suffering trauma from the death of his fellow cats, living in a war zone, and being starved for over two months, he appears to have made a remarkable recovery since he was taken in by the sanctuary.
His new home is more than 1,000 times larger than his previous cage and - crucially - provides him with room to roam, food, and safety.
Laziz's new home. Credit: Caters News Agency
Laziz has had a tough time pretty much his whole life. He was smuggled across the border from Egypt as a cub and brought to the zoo in Gaza. He returned to Africa only once charity Four Paws rescued him two years ago.
A veterinary surgeon working with Four Paws, Dr Amir Khalil, said: "So many people have followed the progress of our mission eagerly and shown their solidarity with Laziz and the other animals.
"We are happy that we were finally able to close down Khan Younis Zoo.
"Laziz was subjected to mortar and grenade strikes that wiped out almost all the zoo's inhabitants and survived nearly two months without food.
"And in a particularly macabre turn of events, his partner was even mummified when she died and was kept in Laziz's enclosure."
His previous home in Gaza. Credit: Caters News Agency
Before the eventual closure of the zoo, pictures began to emerge that showed mummified animals left to rot in their cages after zookeepers left to escape the conflict, abandoning the animals without any food.
Because there is no governing body in Gaza for zoos, and no animal rights movement, Laziz would surely have died if he hadn't been found by Four Paws.
Now, Laziz is amongst many other big cats, and is making a full recovery.
Credit: Caters News Agency
Dr Khalil continued: "It's safe to say that few animals on earth have been through as much as this tiger has,
"Laziz is now settling into life at LionsRock and whilst he is still traumatised by his past life, he is doing well."
Featured Image Credit: Caters News Agency