The feeding of the one thousand: Idlib sanctuary offers cats a refuge from war

By Khalil Ashawi IDLIB, Syria (Reuters) - When Syria's war forced Alaa al-Jaleel to close his cat sanctuary in Aleppo in 2015 and head north to the rebel stronghold of Idlib, he took around 100 animals with him and reopened it there.

Reuters April 01, 2021 00:10:50 IST
The feeding of the one thousand: Idlib sanctuary offers cats a refuge from war

The feeding of the one thousand Idlib sanctuary offers cats a refuge from war

By Khalil Ashawi

IDLIB, Syria (Reuters) - When Syria's war forced Alaa al-Jaleel to close his cat sanctuary in Aleppo in 2015 and head north to the rebel stronghold of Idlib, he took around 100 animals with him and reopened it there.

Now his successors at Ernesto's Sanctuary care for more than 1,000 - and feeding time tends to be loud and chaotic.

"Most of the animals are injured because of the war and because their owners had to leave them when they left their homes. We gave (the cats) shelter, medical care and food," its current manager, Mohamad Wattar, said.

Named after a favourite cat of the Italian women who helped to set it up before it relocated, the expanded and fenced-off sanctuary covers 2,000 square metres (21,500 sq ft) of the city, located close to the Turkish border and still held by opposition forces.

(writing by John Stonestreet; editing by Seham Eloraby)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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