In 2011, after the heavy fighting in Libya had subsided, the global media provided wall to wall coverage of the harrowing fate of the zoo animals. Now, the spotlight is no longer on these animals, but the fact that these animals are desperately in need of international aid has not changed.
The Tripoli Zoo was built by the Gaddafi family as a private zoo. The zoo was being renovated in 2011 when violent fighting erupted. The people and animals suffered terribly, it was all that they could do to keep zoo operations afloat. The fighting traumatized the animals and to make matters worse there was a food and medication shortage. At the time, the zoo received national and international media attention. It has been two years since the zoo was closed to the public. This is about to change!
Dr. Julia Countess Maltzan flew to Tripoli on April 10, 2013, to help Dave Morgan of the WildWelfare Initiative with the implementation of plans to open the zoo to the public once again. Dr. Maltzan arrived and was met by very elaborately designed facilities and compounds, which were in structurally excellent condition.
However, there is a large necessity of zoological and veterinary expertise to address the animals‘ needs.
Dr. Maltzan treated a variety of animals and provided the local staff with feeding and species-appropriate animal welfare recommendations. A concept is now in the works to outline systematic improvements for the animals‘ living conditions and provide training for the zoo staff.