The desperate and neglected animals at Europe’s ‘worst zoo’

Credit: Four Paws
Credit: Four Paws
By Chris Harris
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A three-legged bear is among neglected animals set to be evacuated from what’s been dubbed Europe’s worst zoo.


A three-legged bear is among neglected animals set to be evacuated from what’s been dubbed Europe’s worst zoo.

Footage has emerged showing desperate-looking creatures and conditions at a Safari Park Zoo, Albania.

The video, filmed by campaigners, includes a female bear hopping on three legs and a lion with a severe eye infection.

Albania’s Ministry of Tourism and Environment has moved to close the zoo and a dozen animals will be relocated to other sites.

Credit: Four Paws

"Since the wild animals are in a bad condition, we work closely together with the Albanian Ministry of Tourism and Environment to prepare the rescue mission meticulously,” said Ioana Dungler, director of Four Paws’ wild animals department.

“An international team of veterinarians will supervise the entire evacuation.

“This mission is extremely delicate, and we hope to get all animals out of this horrible zoo unhurt.

“For safety reasons we are unfortunately unable to provide any concrete information on the time of the evacuation, but it will take place in the next few days."

Four Paws, an animals charity, says it began investigating the zoo in 2015 but “legal regulations” mean only now has intervention been possible.

Credit: Four Paws

The government acted after photos of the zoo in Fier emerged in mid-October and prompted an outcry in Albania and beyond.

"Our priority is to get the animals into a safe environment as quickly as possible,” said Dungler.

“There we can provide them with food and medical care. We will use their recovery time to find permanent solutions for the rescued animals.

“After years of torture, the zoo animals from Fier deserve a peaceful life in a species-appropriate home.”

Reviews on Google of the zoo are scathing.

“This place made me cry,” wrote Esben Lyager. “Lions are living in 10 square metres. One of them with an open wound in its eye, where flies were nesting. The wolf has one square metre.The bear was also wounded. Half the cages were empty, I guess the other animals had died.”

Credit: Four Paws
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