>> Relief for the starving animals of Mosul Zoo. Volunteers bringing food and much needed veterinary care to the only two animals left in an area destroyed by war. A bear that has paced this filthy cage for weeks, and a lion with eyes dull from hunger. When military advances began in Mosul, Nour Park transformed from a home for monkeys, horses, and other animals, into a staging ground for Islamic State.
Reuter's reporter Emily Wither visited the zoo earlier this month, after Islamic State had been driven out.>> We hear a lot about the civilian suffering in war, but not so much about animals. And this was a perfect example of how the infrastructure in the city has completely collapsed.
>> Locals nearby brought leftovers when they could. But it was never enough, as people struggled to find food of their own. Now a mission launched by Austria based For Paws, led by a Vienna based vet and local volunteers, says it will continue to provide food in the coming months until security restores.
>> We spoke to the owner when we were there and he said that he just simply didn't have the money to really take care of the animals properly anymore, the surviving ones. But also in the case of the surviving lion, he said that they would have needed specialist equipment to transport the lion somewhere else.
And that's something that he didn't have. The conditions were so terrible and difficult to see. There was a bear pacing around in it's filthy cage, hungry, agitated, and the surviving lion was just simply watching its lioness being buried before it.>> Though help is trickling through, and violence has ceased in Eastern Mosul, which was once a home to 40 animals, the future for Nour Park and its remaining animals is still dire.