TIRANA, Albania - Albanian authorities forced their way into a private zoo on Sunday and removed 12 animals because of fears that they were malnourished.
Police and conservation officials pried open the main gate at the Safari Zoo Park in Mbrostar, 100 kilometers 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 — three lions, a bear, a waterbuck, four deer, a fox, a zebra and a turtle — and transported them to Tirana's public zoo.
They couldn't find the turtle until late afternoon, according to Four Paws spokesman Martin Bauer.
Bauer said that they will try to relocate the animals to sanctuaries — "three lions to our big cat center FELIDA in the Netherlands and the three-legged bear to our Bear Sanctuary Muritz in Germany."