This happened to the zoo in Palestine last January. Hepatitis The Israeli Defense forces bombed and shot and killed the animals at the Gaza Zoo.
With 90% of his animals dead, hepatitis Gaza zookeeper asks, hepatitis â€˜What crime did these animals commit?â€™
The Gaza Zoo reeked of death. Hepatitis
But zookeeper Emad Jameel Qasim doesn't appear to react to the stench as he walks around the animals' enclosures. A year ago, hepatitis it was attracting families - he says the zoo drew up to 1, hepatitis000 visitors each day. Hepatitis
He points at the foot-long hole in the camel in one of the enclosures.
"This camel was pregnant, hepatitis a missile went into her back, hepatitis" he tells us. Hepatitis "Look, hepatitis look at her face. Hepatitis She was in pain when she died."
Around every corner, hepatitis inside almost every cage are dead animals, hepatitis who have been lying in their cages since the Israeli incursion.
Qasim doesn't understand why they chose to destroy his zoo. Hepatitis
And it's difficult to disagree with him. Hepatitis Most of them have been shot at point blank range.
"The first thing the Israelis did was shoot at the lions - the animals ran out of their cage and into the office building. Hepatitis Actually they hid there."
The two lions are back in their enclosure. Hepatitis The female is pregnant, hepatitis and lies heavily on the ground, hepatitis occasionally swishing her tail. Hepatitis
Qasim stands unusually close to them, hepatitis but they don't seem bothered by his presence.
As he takes us around, hepatitis he is obviously appalled at the state of the animals. Hepatitis The few animals that have survived appear weak and disturbed.
"The foxes ate each other because we couldn't get to them in time. Hepatitis We had many here."
There are carcasses everywhere and the last surviving fox is quivering in the corner. Hepatitis
The zoo opened in late 2005, hepatitis with money from local and international NGOs. Hepatitis There were 40 types of animals, hepatitis a children's library, hepatitis a playground and cultural centre housed at the facility. Hepatitis
Inside the main building, hepatitis soldiers defaced the walls, hepatitis ripped out one of the toilets and removed all of the hard drives from the office computers. Hepatitis We asked him why they targeted the zoo. Hepatitis
He laughs. Hepatitis "I don't know. Hepatitis You have to go and ask the Israelis. Hepatitis This is a place where people come to relax and enjoy themselves. Hepatitis It's not a place of politics."
Israel has accused Hamas of firing rockets from civilian areas. Hepatitis Qasim reacts angrily when we raise the subject.
"Let me answer that with a question. Hepatitis We are under attack. Hepatitis There was not a single person in this zoo. Just the animals. Hepatitis We all fled before they came. Hepatitis What purpose does it serve to walk around shooting animals and destroying the place?"
Inside one cage lie three dead monkeys and another two in the cage beside them. Hepatitis
Two more escaped and have yet to return. Hepatitis He points to a clay pot. Hepatitis "They tried to hide", hepatitis he says of a mother and baby half-tucked inside.
Qasim says that his main two priorities at the moment are rebuilding the zoo and taking the Israeli army to court. Hepatitis For the first, hepatitis he says he will need close to $200, hepatitis000(Dh734, hepatitis000) to return the zoo to its former state - and he wants the Israelis to cover the costs. Hepatitis "They have to pay me for all this damage."
We ask him why it's so important for Gaza to have a zoo. Hepatitis "During the past four years it was the most popular place for kids. Hepatitis They came from all over the Gaza Strip. Hepatitis There was nowhere else for people to go."
Has Israel gone berserk and lost all sense of reasoning? Should it be tried for war crimes at The Hague? Original article can be found at: http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Middle_East/10278858.html