• Animals confiscated from private owner in Serbia who bought them from Belgrade Zoo in 2009
  • Animal welfare charity helped transfer them to South African sanctuary

Three lions being kept by a private owner in Serbia have been confiscated and relocated to a South African wildlife sanctuary.

Ivan, Cornel and Lepa were being held in a private roadside zoo in Novi Pazar after the owner acquired them from Belgrade Zoo in 2009.

A year later, Serbian legislation that prohibits possession of dangerous wild animals came into force

The Serbian CITES management and enforcement authority confiscated the animals and handed to Four Paws Animal Welfare Foundation.

A Four Paws team had travelled to Belgrade on Saturday, taking care of the final preparations for the transfer to Frankfurt Airport.

There, the big cats were loaded onto an plane, which took them to their new home.

Four Paws yesterday released the three lions from Serbia and two tigers from Germany into Lionsrock Big Cats Sanctuary in South Africa.

Whiff of fresh air: Four-year-old Ivan and Cornel were among a number of lions released into a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa

Lepa, a three-year-old lioness, yawns inside a private roadside zoo in Novi Pazar, Serbia, before being relocated to South Africa

The lions arrive in cages at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa

One of the confiscated lions enjoys its new surroundings after being released into the wildlife sanctuary

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208786/Free-roam-Lions-confiscated-private-owner-Serbia-released-South-African-wildlife-sanctuary.html#ixzz27atPNxlq
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