Global animal welfare organisation, Four Paws has successfully rescued and transferred a male lion cub from illegal private keeping to its Felida Big Cat Sanctuary in the Netherlands.
Nine-month-old Nikola the lion was found and captured by the Montenegrin authorities in February 2022. He had escaped from his former home and was seen roaming the streets near Budva, on the Adriatic coast for 10 days, fatigued and starving.
Four Paws supported the search and rescue of the cub and also provided him with temporary care before transferring to his new home. The organisation's experts visited Nikola multiple times to provide advice, check on his health and perform a small but urgent surgery.
Finally, 2 000 kilometres and six country borders later, the cub arrived at his new home at the cat sanctuary on Tuesday.
Barbara van Genne, from Four Paws' Wild Animal Rescues, says they are happy Nikola could be successfully placed at their sanctuary for traumatised big cats.
“We are grateful for the swift actions of the Montenegrin authorities and great collaboration with Center for Protection and Research of birds in Montenegro for finding a suitable solution for little Nikola. Although he received dedicated care on-site, there are simply no species-appropriate places in Montenegro for a young lion,'' said van Genne.
She added that the cub can now focus on recovering from the turbulent first months of his life and receive the care he needs to grow up to be a healthy lion.