BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A lion cub, only a few months old, was taken to a zoo in northern Serbia on Thursday after it was seen wandering on a local road, officials and media said.
The female cub, found on the outskirts of Subotica, a town near the border with Hungary, was malnourished and weak, said Sonja Mandic, from the Palic Zoo.
Local media said that a Subotica resident spotted the cub on the road and called the police, who then took it to the zoo. A video on social media shows the cub appearing from the grass and stepping onto the road.
Reports also said that the cub was friendly and wasn’t afraid of people. A policeman and local residents could be seen in other videos and photos caressing the cub.
Mandic said the lion was in “pretty poor shape” and was receiving treatment and infusion to improve its condition.
“It could be 3 to 6 months old or 5 to 6, but is malnourished and possibly underdeveloped,” said Mandic.
Police are yet to issue an official statement. The smuggling of wild and rare animals is believed to be widespread in the Balkan region.