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Starving lion, bear discovered amid IS battle in Mosul Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Starving lion, bear discovered amid IS battle in Mosul

Iraq launched an offensive in October to drive out IS fighters [Mosul Eye]

Date of publication: 2 February, 2017

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A starving lion and bear have been rescued from an area recently recaptured from the Islamic State group in the flashpoint city of Mosul.

A starving lion and bear have been rescued from an area recently recaptured from the Islamic State group [IS] in the flashpoint city of Mosul.

The emaciated apex predators were found in a zoo in east Mosul after IS fighters were routed out by government forces, local news outlet Mosul Eye reported on Tuesday.

"A lion, a bear and other animals that have been freed from IS are in need of urgent assistance at the public part in the al-Muroor district," the anti-IS Facebook page said, adding erroneously that the lion had died.

On Wednesday, a doctor from the Animal Protection Organisation in Kurdistan rescued the abandoned animals and provided them with food and medicine.

A video was later posted online of the now well-fed and watered saved critters as they roamed their new cages.

"Being humane is thinking that every creature and spirit is valuable and deserves protection. When you learn how to care for an animal and to show kindness to them you will understand the value of human life," Mosul Eye advised its readers.

Iraqi forces face a massive challenge as they press on to retake western Mosul, but the days of the Islamic State group are counted, a UN envoy said on Thursday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared on January 24 that his forces had retaken east Mosul and the battle was now moving to the other side of the Tigris River.

"This steady progress should not conceal that fighting has been and will be a massive challenge, in particular inside the old city in western Mosul," UN envoy Jan Kubis told the Security Council.

"Yet in the rather short foreseeable future, the liberation operations in Iraq are coming to an end - the days of the so-called ISIL are counted," he added, using another acronym for IS.

Iraq launched an offensive in October to drive out IS fighters who seized Mosul in 2014.

Kubis voiced concern over the "extremely high percentage" of civilian casualties, adding there was "clear evidence" from gunshot wounds that civilians were being targeted by IS combatants.

The envoy added that civilians will be at "extreme risk" when the fighting starts in the western sections of Mosul.

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