Police Take Lions, Others Away from Private Zoo in Albania

A lion sits in its cage at Safari Zoo Park in Mbrostar, 60 miles south of Tirana, Albania, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Llazar Semini)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities have forced their way into a private zoo and removed 12 animals due to fears they were malnourished.

Police and conservation officials on Sunday forced their way past a locked main gate into the Safari Zoo Park in Mbrostar, 60 miles south of the capital, Tirana. The zoo had been closed by owners after criticism emerged about the treatment of its animals.

Veterinarians from Four Paws, an international animal welfare charity, sedated 12 animals there — three lions, a bear, a waterbuck, four deer, a fox, a zebra and a turtle — to transport them to Tirana’s public zoo.

Albania’s environment and tourism ministry said it took the animals because their living quarters were too cramped and some were sick.

Zoo owners have denied that the animals were sick or malnourished.

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