Marjan Afghan's last lion
Marjan, born in 1976 arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan just two years of age.
Given as a gift by Germany to the people of Afghanistan, at the end of the Soviet occupation in 1989, became a symbol of the countries suffering.
Afghanistan entered a period of civil war in 1992, with the Taliban entering the city of Kabul with intentions to take over and form a Taliban government. The zoo where Marjan was living was often under attack and located in contested space often coming under contact and bombardment.
In 1995 a soldier entered Marjan's enclosure to stroke the lioness, malnourished Marjan attacked him, killing him. The next day the brother of the soldier attacked by Marjan through a grenade at the lions face, Marjan lost his sight, hearing and part of his jaw.
Later that year the zoo was abandoned, the talliban attacks increased in complexity, capturing and holding ground.
The zoo keepers no longer received a salary, and begged for money to feed the animals imprisoned in the war torn capital, many animals died as a result of this.
Some of the animals were even killed and eaten by the starving people of Kabul, the zoo originally was home to 417 animals, but by 1998 only 19 animals were alive, including 2 lions.
They were mistreated and abused, in 2001 the americans rolled in to Kabul where more bombing began, after 6 weeks of bombardment Marjan was Afghanistans last lion.
He then received veterinary care, he lived a luxurious lifestyle with fresh meat, vitamins and paid carers but Marjan died weeks later in 2002, where his story and himself turned into a symbol of Kabuls suffering, a memorial was created to remember him and his story inside Kabul zoo.
Afghan is a subject thats near and dear to many of us, learning Marjan's story has compelled us to spread it as far and wide as we can, so much so we are donating to Nowzad.
Whos mission is to relieve the suffering of animals in Afghanistan, please visit there website and show a little support.