Архивска фотографија | Извор: MARIOLA GROBELSKA on Unsplash

Animal rights activist Tina Mickovska revealed that she is receiving death threats after she publicly denounced the trend of posting photographs of the lion cub Simba on the social networks by users from North Macedonia and called the authorities to act.

On her Facebook profile she wrote that she is scared for her life, but that she won’t back down from the fight to solve the case with the lion cubs.

Yet, despite the many questions, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) is still silent about the case with the lion cub that appeared on the social networks photographed riding in expensive cars and in villas and hotels. MoI has to investigate how did this lion cub enter the country, who and where photographed it and who published it on social networks.

Trafficking of exotic animals in is not an unknown phenomenon for the institutions in North Macedonia.

The Customs Administration stated that the customs personnel has prevented the smuggling of wild and exotic animals on many occasions. These were confiscated during their efforts to be illegally transported into North  Macedonia. Charges were pressed against the perpetrators and the animals were accommodated in a zoo where the animals could get appropriate care.

They explained additionally that the procedure behind the import of such exotic animal is not simple.

In reply to our questions, the Customs Administration stated that in case of trade with endangered and protected wild animals, it is necessary to have an appropriate document i.e. a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.

Specifically, in order to import lions the following documents are necessary:

  • Approval from a veterinary inspector at the border crossing(N-640 Veterinary admission document) that is providing the approval in accordance with the Law on veterinary health, and the authorized institution is the Food and Veterinary Agency.
  • Permit for importing endangered wild animals and plants (CITES) in accordance with the Law on the environment and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning is the governing authority.

One familliar case is the one of the lion Johnny, which in 2019 was smuggled from Albania to Kosovo and the encaged ind a local restaurant.

Eight months ago, the Rapporteur of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon asked the transfer of the lion from the Kosovo restaurant “Maja e Zezë” restaurant to be conducted as soon as possible.