A GROUP of baboons was seen roaming the destroyed streets of Gaza after the local zoo was reportedly destroyed in Israeli airstrikes.
The three monkeys were some of the few lucky animals to survive the blitz in Gaza as many were killed in explosions or starved to death.
Under the auspices of the truce, an IDF veterinarian was dispatched to capture these poor animals, YNet columnist Nadav Eyal tweeted.
He wrote: “Together with the brigade in the field, he succeeded and they were tranquillised.
“The trio is set to be transferred to treatment and returned to Gaza at the end of the war.”
Heartbreaking footage showed what is left of the Gaza Zoo after keepers were forced to abandon it when the war began in October.
The zoo, part of the Al-Bisan recreational park in Jabalya, was hit multiple times during airstrikes.
Once home to around 100 species, it has now been reduced to rubble.
Last week’s truce allowed staff to return, but it was too late to save most animals as they were caught in the crossfire.
Yahya Al Sarraj, head of Gaza Municipality, claims at least two appeals to rescue the animals were made to the international community, including the UN and the Red Cross.
“Unfortunately, the Israeli forces didn’t allow us to reach the place,” he told Al Jazeera.
Rifaat Al Arair explained how “90 per cent of the animals died” as a result, with corpses of rare foxes, baboons, hyenas, and wolves still lying on their cages.
A lion was a few of the lucky creatures to survive the blitzing of Gaza, but the animal reportedly hasn’t had anything to eat in over a month.
A lonely wolf was also seen clearly distressed as it ran back and forth nonstop inside its pen.
In one of the cages, a dead peacock lays in front of two hungry lions.
In another, a crocodile lounges in the hot sun with almost no water in the enclosure, which also holds a pelican and a duck.
Staff members say that as well as the many injured animals, many haven’t eaten in days as the zoo lacks funds to buy food, CNN reports.
“Eight to 10 monkeys were killed. Also a peacock, a gazelle, a lion, and a fox,”chief veterinarian Abu Sameer told CNN.
“The situation is very bad. We can’t get the animals out to clean the cages.
“Many of them are getting sick because they are weak and it is dirty. But we don’t have any alternative places.”
He added: “They have not eaten for 10 to 15 days.
“We could not reach them during the fighting.
“When it got calmer at least we could bring them some water.”
It comes as the all-out war between Israel and Hamas erupted again just moments after the ceasefire expired this morning.
Israeli fighter jets blitzed Hamas targets in Gaza today after the IDF claimed Hamas “violated” the truce and launched a rocket attack on Israel in the early hours of Friday.
Israeli forces are now set to strike Hamas’ final stronghold – Khan Younis.
Flyers dropped from warplanes across southern Gaza urging residents to evacuate suggest Israel is preparing to widen its offensive.
The leaflets dropped all over al Qarara, Khirbet al Khuza’a, Abasan and Bani Suhaila in the Khan Younis area, read: “You are under orders to evacuate immediately and to go to the shelters in the Rafah area.
“The city of Khan Younis is a dangerous combat zone. We have warned you.
“Israel Defence Forces.”
Khan Younis has become a giant shelter for the displaced during the war and Israel believes it’s where Hamas will make its final stand.