Family lives with lions - level 3
When most people tell you they have a couple of cats at home, these probably aren't the type of cat you’d expect, but for one family in Gaza, these lion cubs are their household pets.
Lioness Mona and Alex, who’s a male, were born in the battle-torn Gaza Strip to parents that were smuggled through a tunnel along the border with Egypt.
Gazan refugee Saed Eldin al-Jamal bought the baby lions from a zoo a month and a half ago after the economic situation forced the zoo owner to sell them to try and save the lives of other animals.
Fifty-four-year-old Saed used to take the cubs back to the zoo every night to be breastfed by their mom, but they’ve recently been weaned and now live in the family home all the time.
Mona and Alex are now part of the local community and children play with them when they're taken out for walks.
But despite these cubs looking quite at home with the al-Jamal family, animal experts have warned that having lions at home with children can be dangerous and that they will need a more suitable environment when they grow bigger.
Difficult words: cub (a young animal), -torn (destroyed), smuggle (to move something from one country to another illegally), refugee (a person who had to leave their country), wean (to start eating other food than a mother’s milk).
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