A number of explanations were offered for their deaths but the bottom line appears to be that there was simply no expertise in Gaza for rearing captive lion cubs. As a blog on Foreign Policy magazine explained:
Reports have cited several possible causes of death for the cubs, who were reportedly born healthy. The lioness that birthed them refused to feed them, so zookeepers substituted whole milk and nursed the cubs by hand. The lion that fathered them showed signs of aggression toward the cubs. Zookeepers had to rely on experts in Egypt, reached by phone, for advice on the cubs’ care. On Tuesday, an Israeli airstrike targeting rocket-launching militants startled the lioness. At least according to one report, she stepped on the cubs. Zookeepers brought the cubs into a warmed room to protect them from the November chill, but later told reporters that they did not have the facilities to adequately shelter the newborns. Some reports cited an unidentified illness or “pollutants,” and zookeepers noted that they were not able to import the vaccines necessary to inoculate the cubs.
So why then did Foreign Policy decide to run the post with this sensationalist headline?
A look at the article’s hyperlink – http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/11/22/gazas_newborn_lion_cubs_die_days_after_birth_will_break_your_heart – would suggest that the draft headline read: “Gaza’s Newborn Lion Cubs Die Days After Birth – Will Break Your Heart.”
So, clearly somebody at Foreign Policy gave it some thought as to how to make the headline more interesting and clickable. And what better way of doing this than intimating that those dastardly Israelis were directly responsible for the deaths of two cute and cuddly baby animals.
This headline is wholly inappropriate and defamatory. Please ask Foreign Policy to change the headline by sending your emails to FP@ForeignPolicy.com.
[H/T: HonestReporting reader who emailed us through our HR Red Alert.]