Lion Cub Rescued after Escaping from Private Residence in Montenegro

An escaped lion cub on the prowl for nearly a month was recaptured on Thursday, an official in Montenegro said, following an extensive search that highlighted the pervasiveness of illicit wildlife trafficking in the region.

The lion escaped from a private residence last month and was later found inside an unfinished house near the Adriatic resort town of Budva, according Bojan Basanovic — the spokesperson for Montenegro’s nature and environmental protection agency.

“The cub was visibly exhausted and is now undergoing veterinary examinations,” said Bojan Basanovic, spokesperson for the Agency for Nature and Environmental Protection (EPA).

“According to our information, it has been wandering for 30 days,” he told AFP.

The young animal has been placed temporarily “in a safe place” to be examined by a vet, he added. She will likely be permanently transferred to a zoo or shelter.

The long search for the lion cub has highlighted the illegal trafficking of wild animals in the Western Balkans.

Police told local media that an investigation had been launched to try to determine how the animal had been imported into Montenegro.