Zoo animals stressed, fat after 34 days indoors

By
August 15, 2006 18:29

 
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The baboons got stressed, the lions got fat and zoo officials worry the antelopes might have heart attacks. After 34 days in indoor shelters, many of the animals at the Haifa Zoo got a breath of outdoor air - if not a taste of freedom - for the first time on Tuesday. Zoo officials moved all the carnivores, bears and monkeys indoors at the start of the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, both to protect them from rocket strikes and to keep an errant missile on a retaining wall from setting them loose into Israel's third-largest city. "The lions gained weight, but they look basically OK," said zoo manager Etty Ararat as he released them outdoors on Tuesday. Hours before, the lions roared and flashed their teeth at reporters who visited them at the 3 by 2-meter- (yard) indoor cages where they were confined for more than a month. "Baboons suffered from stress," Ararat said.

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