Rescue lion lounges in his new outdoor sanctuary

STORY: Gjon had been rescued by the NGO Four Paws on March 22 and was moved to an outdoor bear sanctuary close to the capital, Pristina.

The Austrian NGO said it managed to convince local authorities to rescue the lion after months of legal battles.

Now, the organization is planning to transport Gjon to the Netherlands and if his health permits, to South Africa.

"We will see whether he is healthy (enough) for a long transfer to his final destination which is the sanctuary of our organization (Four Paws) in South Africa," the sanctuary's spokesperson, Taulant Hoxha, told Reuters.

As there is no information available on how Gjon was brought into the country, and Kosovo bans the import of wild animals, police suspect he could have been smuggled. It is unclear when Gjon will leave Kosovo.