Word has been spreading online that a group of five lions are sick and starving at a park in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan. Sadly, since news of the situation has reached the world, one of the lions has reportedly died.

The surviving animals are being held at the Al-Qureshi Park, but they have not been fed properly, or given any medical attention for several weeks.

Osman Salih, a resident of Khartoum, noticed the condition that the animals were in and decided that something had to be done. Salih started an online campaign to spread awareness and raise funds to help the animals, and called the effort “#SudanAnimalRescue.”

Park manager Essamelddine Hajjar told reporters that there was not enough money to feed the animals due to Sudan’s current economic crisis.

“Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” Hajjar told AFP.

Moataz Mahmoud, one of the caretakers at the park, said that the animals are suffering from “severe illnesses.”

Salih has been posting updates about the rehabilitation effort on his Facebook page. Salih said that he submitted paperwork to apply for help from international animal rescue organizations and that the animals are finally starting to get the food and medicine that they need.

“Today was a positive day at Qurashi Park. We had good meetings with the park administration and the wildlife police. It is important to note that it was at least very good seeing all the high level people concerned meet at such short notice,” Salih said on Sunday.

Unfortunately, authorities have not yet come to an agreement on who is responsible for taking care of the animals, but there have been plenty of volunteers to come along and help since Salih has brought attention to the problem.

Lion populations in Africa have dwindled by 43 percent between 1993 and 2014. Researchers estimate that there are only about 20,000 lions living in Africa today. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has classified African lions as a “vulnerable” species.

Photos courtesy of: Osman Salih/facebook

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