Sudan clashes raise fears for lions at wildlife sanctuary

Reserve near Khartoum has lost power for its electric fences and is running out of food for the animals

A group of African lions rest in their enclosure at the Sudan Animal Rescue Center in Al Bageir, near Khartoum. EPA
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Heavy fighting in Sudan, which has plunged the nation into chaos and killed hundreds, has also raised fears for 25 lions and other animals in a wildlife reserve.

The Sudan Animal Rescue Centre said it was without electricity to power safety fences around enclosures and running low on food for the lions, which each require 5 to 10kg of meat a day.

Violence broke out in the capital and across Sudan on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah Al Burhan and his deputy turned rival Mohamed Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The clashes have killed more than 400 people, wounded thousands and threatened a descent into wider turmoil in the North African country, already one of the world's poorest.

“Firstly, may Allah protect Sudan and the people of Sudan,” Sudan Animal Rescue Centre said as it described the situation at the sanctuary as “critical”.

A nearby military base had been rocked by “deadly clashes on a daily basis”, the centre said, and it no longer had a permanent staff on site. In addition, one of its vehicles had been stolen.

Clashes continue in Sudan's capital, cutting residents' basic supplies

Clashes continue in Sudan's capital, cutting residents' basic supplies

The sanctuary, an hour's drive south-east of Khartoum, houses 25 lions and various other animals including gazelles, camels, monkeys, hyenas and birds.

“We are under tremendous pressure due to the current power outage, and our stocks of food and drink are beginning to run out,” it said

The power cut had become “a real threat” because the facility relies on electricity to power equipment for the animal enclosures.

“We therefore appeal to all officials and those with the ability to help with the need to intervene … as soon as possible,” it said.

Updated: April 24, 2023, 5:11 AM