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A Family In The Gaza Strip Bought Two Lion Cubs To Keep As Pets And It's Weird

The family, which lives in the city of Rafah, keep the rapidly growing lions in their house. What could possibly go wrong?

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Al-Jamal, who lives in the city of Rafah, acknowledged as much in telling the AP that he gives it another month before "they will start being kept in a cage for our own safety."

You can watch the raw video of the family interacting with the cubs here:

View this video on YouTube

Associated Press / Via youtube.com

Fact is, these household pets are more than just a weird sight.

The lions and other exotic animals are the product of a local zoo industry supplied by smugglers who use tunnels that link to Egypt, the AP reported.

But the territory clearly lacks the resources to adequately care for the animals, often with sad consequences. In 2013, a pair of newborn lion cubs died shortly after they were unveiled by Gaza's Hamas rulers, according to the AP.

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The zoo in Rafah, for example, is stocked almost entirely with smuggled animals.

Adel Hana / AP

African lion cubs are inside a cage at the "Heaven of Birds and Animals Zoo" in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in 2008.

Tunnel traders told the AP that dozens of passages snake the border, with each passage feeding more than two dozen families.

Adel Hana / AP

A Palestinian zoo employee feeds baboons with carrots at the "Heaven of Birds and Animals Zoo" in Rafah.

The zoo animals also take a heavy hit during times of military conflict.

Last year, a zoo in northern Gaza was hit multiple times during the conflict between Israel and Hamas militants, leaving dozens of animals either dead or clinging to life, trapped in cages without food or water, CNN reported.

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