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Zoo paints stripes on donkeys to make 'zebras'

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10/09/2009 07:04 AM
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Zoo paints stripes on donkeys to make 'zebras'
[link to web.orange.co.uk]

A zoo in Gaza has got around animal importation restrictions by dyeing stripes on donkeys to make 'zebras'.

The owner of the Marah Land zoo in Gaza City said he had used masking tape and black hair dye, applied with a paint-brush, to disguise the white females.

Mohammed Bargouthi said it would have cost him more than £25,000 to bring in a real zebra via smuggling tunnels.

"The first time we used paint but it didn't look good," said Mr Bargouthi.

"The children don't know, so they call them zebras and they are happy to see something new."

All the real animals at the zoo, including monkeys and a tigress, had been smuggled under the border at great expense, he said.

Two genuine zebras died of starvation earlier this year during the Israeli military offensive, he added.

The animal restrictions are part of the Israeli blockade of Gaza, imposed in an attempt to reduce rocket attacks and weaken the leadership of Hamas.