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Mission Shadow: Distressed and Malnourished Endangered Species Rescue at Kaduna Zoo, Nigeria

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Images of Shadow the Lion in distress – A critically endangered West African Lion found in a critical condition: Gamji Gate – Kaduna Zoo, Nigeria. (09/11/2020.)

Wildatlife e.V received an urgent appeal from a citizen in Kaduna, Nigerian, to come to rescue the animals held in terrible condition, distressed and starved to death in Gamji Gate Zoo. Since that day, we are on an urgent mission working in the premises. We are providing urgent care and nutritional support to the captive animals in the Horror Zoo. The problem started after a flood ravaged the Zoo and affected paddocks. Since Covid-19 hit worldwide, Zoos in Nigeria are all struggling to feed the animals held in captivity, due to lack of funding and support. Moreover, prices of food have inflated and without paying visitors the Zoo had literally became hell. We have established strong communication with the Government and our mission will continue until bring all the animals to safety and implement long lasting conservation plan in the country, including zoos and national parks. 

An infant Baboon seen alone in a concrete cage.
The conditions at Kaduna Zoo -.
On full inspection of the Zoo, the team found the enclosures inadequate for each species – no natural enrichment provided for any of the animals mental and physical well-being. The zoo is not only a danger to the safety of the captive animals but also a health threat to the nearby communities. It flooded this year leaving the animals in great distress and will flood again next year.
Inventory of Animals in distress found at the Zoo:
Shadow the Lion x 1 (Male, West African Species).
Crocodiles x 3
Baboons x 2 (Male) and 1 x (Female).
Patas monkey x 1 (Male).
Ostrich x 1 (Male).
Tortoises x 3
Striped Hyena x 1 (Male).
Spotted hyena x 2 (Male and Female).
Tantalus x 1 (Female)
Diagnosis and treatments for Shadow and the other animals at the Zoo:
Our lead Vet, ‘Dr. Abdurrahman Mohammed’ approximated the age of Shadow to be more than 8 yrs. The treatment given so far was in place based on the Faecal sample result.
Treatment such as Sulpha and trimetoprim combination for Isosporosis diagnosis and Pyrentel pamiote, praziquentel combination for helminths diagnosis and Ivermectin for the Diagnosis of Mange.. Malnutrition is being supported with enriched fresh meats (the price of fresh meat has increased due to Covid). All animals are diagnosed with malnutrition resulted from stress that they underwent when the area was flooded by rain sometime around Mid-September. 
Plan of action: 
Shadow’s recovery will take time, we do believe he can survive this ordeal and our team will continue to provide him the best medical support and nutritional support, and will be by his side thru it all. Once he is stable, we believe the Government will accept our offer of providing him with a placement at a sanctuary as well as all the other animals at this tragic Zoo.
We have initiated disinfectant of all pens and areas to stop contamination and spread of more disease. Daily feeding programs, which our NGO is fully designing and funding, are in effect, with fresh water and nutrient supplements added for optimal support in these times. Our vet and his supporting team continue to provide medical care to all of the animals.
6 days after our urgent intervention – Shadow the Lion is more stabilized and starts to be active, he continues to break records – He is a very strong boy, and with just 34 wild lions left in Nigeria, we are saddened to see that he has suffered within captivity, and for so long .  He is under treatment for mange, isospora and helminths present in his weakened body. He is receiving vital nutrients and immune boosters, as are all others at the zoo in Kudana. We are fighting for his life and objectively his freedom!
We have established strong communication with the Government and our mission will continue as long as we bring all the animals to safety and implement long lasting conservation plan in the country.
Update: We will miss you Shadow ! 
Unfortunately, we are sad to share Shadow passing. Over the last days his condition took a turn for the worse and it was becoming higher probability we were going to say goodbye.
Shadow lived inside a concrete cage that was his ‘home’ for the 8 years of his miserable life. He never touched grass, never seen a tree or the sky of blues, his disgraceful home was a state owned zoo in an area known to flood in Kaduna, Nigeria.
In September his cage flooded, he suspended himself above objects to breath for 5 long days and also starved. No one helped him, it was not until WildatLife (Wild@Life) implemented an emergency plan to help all the animals in the zoo, that things started to improve. Within 24 hours our veterinarian and team was by his side fighting for his survival.
We are heartbroken but take comfort in the fact that, for the first time in his 8 years in captivity, he had the best medical care, the best rich food, he had our team and the world fighting for his survival, but the damage done to his lungs was irreversible. The flood and the 5 days in water made lasting damages and he was simply left out without any help for too long.
He had a strong will to remain alive, always greeted our team with his bright eyes and never lost his appetite and stood proud with his head above all problems. Farewell dear Shadow.
WildatLife has pushed hard all negotiations with Kaduna State and we have signed an MoU to make our work long lasting. Kaduna has now agreed with our work plan and for the first time in their history WE ARE CLOSING DOWN THE ZOO.

Shadow 7 days after our intervention as shown below: