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Wild animals are about to get rescued from “Europe‘s worst zoo”


Albanian Government and FOUR PAWS are currently finalising evacuation plans

Tirana, 23.10.2018After several days of negotiations the rescue of the animals from the Safari Park Zoo in Fier, Albania has finally been given the green light. The Albanian Ministry of Tourism and Environment, supported by international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS, will start the evacuation of the 12 neglected zoo animals – including three lions, a three-legged bear and a zebra – in the next few days. The rescue team will initially take the animals to a safe location in the Albanian capital of Tirana. There, the wild animals will receive medical care before they can continue their journey.

Finally hope for the Safari Park Zoo animals: The Albanian government has decided to confiscate them. A FOUR PAWS team will support the rescue mission and is currently working under high pressure on the construction of the transport crates. "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. 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", says Ioana Dungler, Director of FOUR PAWS’ Wild Animals Department.

The animals of the “zoo from hell”

A total of 12 wild animals are on the rescue list. The Albanian Government and FOUR PAWS plan to evacuate all three lions, a three-legged bear, a zebra, a fox, a waterbuck, a turtle, a red deer and three fallow deer in one single day. "Our priority is to get the animals into a safe environment as quickly as possible. 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," says Dungler.

Safari Park Zoo in Fier: "Europe's worst zoo”

FOUR PAWS has investigated the zoo several times since December of 2015. Due to legal regulations, however, it has never been possible to intervene. Photos from inside the zoo emerged mid-October of 2018 and led to a public outcry both in and around Albania. International media labelled the Safari Park Zoo “Europe’s worst zoo” and “zoo from hell”. The footage showed the dreadful conditions of the animals – among them lion Lenci, who suffers from a severe eye infection, and a three-legged female bear Dushi.  

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