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An online campaign has been started to save a group of 'malnourished and sick' African lions that are being held at a zoo in Sudan.
Shocking images have surfaced showing a group of starving lions, with their painfully thin frames on display.
The animals are being kept in cages at Al-Qureshi Park in the country's capital city of Khartoum. According to reports, they have barely eaten in weeks, with the zoo's owners struggling to feed them.
The campaign is now gaining momentum online, with the aim of moving the lions to a better location where they will be fed and looked after.
Writing on Facebook, Osman Salih launched the #Sudananimalrescue campaign.
He said: "I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park... their bones are protruding from the skin. I urge interested people and institutions to help them."
Updating his Facebook account with news of the animals' conditions, Mr Salih said that one had sadly passed away.
He wrote: "I regret to inform you that the sick female lion has died. The other female is getting better and the male is OK."
Park officials and medics have said the lions' conditions have deteriorated over the past few weeks, with some losing around two-thirds of their body weight.
Speaking to AFP about the horrific story, a manager from Al-Qureshi Park said it is extremely difficult to feed the lions.
They told the agency: "Food is not always available, so often we buy it from our own money to feed them."
Moataz Mahmoud, one of the caretakers at the park, added: "They are suffering from severe illnesses. They are sick and appear to be malnourished."
Mr Salih has since said that emergency responders have visited the park to offer medical assistance to the malnourished lions, and work is being done to find another home for them.
Writing yesterday (19 January), he added: "Today was a positive day at Qurashi Park. We had good meetings with the park administration and the wildlife police.
"Lots of fresh meat was brought by several donors as well as two sheep. Supply of regular meat from factories and slaughter houses was also secured.
"Best news of the day was the willingness of FOUR PAWS International to send an emergency rescue to rehabilitate the animals not only at Qurashi zoo but other parks in Sudan as well as train staff at wildlife authority."
African lions are classified as a 'vulnerable' species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
According to figures reported by AFP, The species' population dropped by 43 percent between 1993 and 2014, and only around 20,000 are still alive today.
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