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Kabul's Zoo Roars Back to Life

October 03, 2002|From Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Kabul Zoo took delivery Wednesday of two lions to replace Marjan, the one-eyed king of beasts who died this year after surviving more than two decades of violence in the Afghan capital.

The new lions, part of a menagerie that also included two deer, two bears, two pigs and a wolf, were given by Beijing's Badaling Safari Animal World.

China's ambassador to Afghanistan, Sun Yuxi, said that the donation was "a gesture of peace" and that Chinese experts would teach Afghan zookeepers how to care for the newly arrived creatures.

The heavily damaged zoo is in an area devastated by Afghanistan's years of civil war.

"We used to come when I was a boy, and you could spend all day here," said 18-year-old Pervez, who, like many Afghans, uses one name. "Now there's nothing. It's boring. We're tired of looking at these same rabbits and monkeys."

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