Images of the skeletal lions have gone viral (Picture: Getty)

A desperate international campaign has started to save a group of starving lions at an impoverished zoo in Sudan.

Images of the skeletal animals living in rusted cages have gone viral as people seek ways they can be saved.

Two lionesses are already believed to have died at the destitute zoo, which does not have the money to look after them properly.

The whole country is gripped by economic crisis, with soaring food prices triggering mass protests last year which ultimately forced autocrat Omar al-Bashir to step down last April.

Staff at the zoo have resorted to using their own money to try and help the three lions who are left there, including a lioness.

Locals concerned about the fate of the lions flocked to help recently, bringing food and medical items.

A sick and malnourished lioness sleeps in its cage at al-Qureshi Park on January 20 (Picture: Getty)
A malnourished lioness sits in her cage at the Al-Qureshi park (Picture: Getty)
There is an online campaign to save the animals (Picture: AFP)
Zoo staff have resorted to using their own money to feed the lions (Picture: AFP)

Osman Mohamed Salih posted the first images online of the lions at Al-Qurashi Park in Khartoum, appealing for help.

While many abroad have tried to donate via crowdfunding sites, Salih said he was not able to use GoFundMe at present due to US sanctions on Sudan.

He asked people to be patient while he found a secure channel for donations and follow his Facebook page for updates.

‘I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park… their bones are protruding from the skin,’ he wrote.

‘I urge interested people and institutions to help them.’

On Wednesday, he shared a photograph of the remaining lioness after volunteers had brought food, saying she was making ‘beautiful progress.’

Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at Al-Qureshi park told AFP that ‘food is not always available, so often we buy it from our own money to feed them.’

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok, formerly a World Bank economist, has made it his mission to get the United States to drop its designation of Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, so that the country can attract badly needed foreign aid and investment.

The economic troubles are testing the government during its fragile transition to democracy.


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