Is This The Saddest Zoo in the World?
Startling footage by Aravot.am shows starving animals inside what has been dubbed the "World's Saddest Zoo."
The Gyumri Zoo in Armenia has just three lions - a mother and her two cubs - two bears and two guinea pigs left from a larger group.
In heartbreaking photos taken by Gyumri Project Hope, the sad, hungry animals are seen living in dirty cages that are too small for their size.
According to local reports, the animals were bought for entertainment by a billionaire oligarch but after he disappeared, the animals were left with no one to care for them.
But an elderly couple stumbled upon them by chance and moved close by to look after them. The couple, Hovhamnes and Alvina Madoyan, manage to scrape together food, including plants, to feed the animals, even though they have very little money for themselves.
"My wife and I were walking by the deserted zoo when we heard these terrible cries of animals in torment," Hovhamnes told News.com.au. "We came in to see the lioness and her cub literally frothing at the mouths from lack of water. My wife and I can’t bear to see God’s creatures in pain.”
The couple said the animals are "sad and lonely" and pace up and down in their cages.
Local government has not involved itself in the case, according to reports.
International Animal Rescue is trying to raise awareness about the zoo's condition.