🙏🏼 My apologies for the poor quality video.
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MARJAN, AFGHANISTAN’S LAST LION.
Born in 1976, he arrived in the country at the age of two, as a gift from Germany to Kabul, the capital city.
At the end of the Soviet occupation in 1989, Afghanistan entered a period of civil war that lasted until 1992.
Kabul plunged into chaos: its zoo was in the middle of the battlefield. It was bombed several times and lost its nursing station.
In 1995, a soldier entered the lion’s enclosure to show his bravery, and struck ‘Chucha’, Marjan’s lioness.
Starving, Marjan attacked and killed him.
The following day, the soldier’s brother, seeking revenge, threw a grenade at Marjan’s face. Marjan lost his sight, his hearing, and part of his jaw.
The soldier’s brother was murdered a week later.
In 1996, the Taliban invaded Kabul and left the zoo abandoned. The zoo’s employees, who no longer received a salary, begged for money to feed the animals. But many of them died and some were even killed and eaten by the starving population.
Twenty-six years earlier, the zoo that was home to 417 animals, but in 1998 only 19 were still alive, including the two lions.
People regularly threw stones at them.
When the Americans took over Kabul in November 2001, after six weeks of bombings, Marjan was Afghanistan’s last lion. That’s when the world discovered his story. He received veterinary care for the first time in years.
Unfortunately he died several weeks later, in January 2002. And was immortalised in bronze as a symbol of Kabul’s suffering. A statue in his honour was erected inside the zoo.
#afghanistan #kabul #kabulzoo #warzone #civilwar #casualtiesofwar #taliban #nocompassion #noempathy