NO REPORTER NARRATION Zhaku, Lenci and Bobby, three lions whose miserable plight in a private Albanian zoo stirred uproar and led the Albanian government to order their rescue, began their two-day journey to a Dutch big cat centre on Tuesday (May 7), from where they will hopefully be returned to the wild.
The father lion and his twin sons were kept in a zoo in Fier, southern Albania, in small cages without natural light, leaving them with enduring kidney, skin and teeth ailments.
The trio were moved from Fier to a zoo in Tirana, where conditions were better but still deemed inappropriate for wild animals.
The lions will be rehabilitated in Felida's big cat centre in the Netherlands, adding that if they recover well, they might be taken to a sanctuary in South Africa.
Albania's Environment Minister called the lions' plight "shameful" and last year ordered environment inspectors, police in Fier and animal welfare officers to take them.
The zoo has since been closed.
Local media have reported it had no official designation as a zoo in the national register.