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Last Updated: Monday November 28 2005 19:43 GMT

Gang grab lion in Gaza zoo raid

Lion cubs
A lioness cub and two Arab-speaking parrots have been kidnapped in a raid in a zoo in Gaza.

The animals were stolen when gunmen overpowered the zookeeper and threw a blanket over the cub, called Sabrina, and the two birds.

Palestinian officials kept the theft secret for several weeks while they were trying to track down the thieves.

A reward has now been offered to bring back the animals - and cheer up Fakhra the lion, Sabrina's friend.

It's thought the criminals stole the animals to show their strength.

The lioness cub is reported to weigh about 20kg (44lb), and can eat her way through several kilograms of meat each day.

When fully grown, lionesses can reach 130kg (287lb) or more.



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