Prishtina, 09.02.2021 - The Minister of Economy and Environment, Muharrem Nitaj, thanked the European Parliament Rapporteur for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon, for her inquiry about the destiny of the lion kept in inappropriate conditions in Gjilan.
Full letter of Minister Nitaj:
I comment the inquiry of the European Parliament Rapporteur for Kosovo, Viola von Cramon, about the destiny of the lion "John", which for some time now is being kept in inappropriate conditions in Gjilan.
I, hereby, inform the public and Ms. Von Cramon that the Ministry I lead has undertaken all the required procedural and legal steps for its release and transfer to a location where the lion "John" would be treated in compliance with the required norms.
We now have a Court decision for its seizure and transfer to another country. Nevertheless, Kosovo unfortunately is not a signatory to the CITES Convention for cross-border movement of animal species. Therefore, we have requested from the authorities of the Republic of Albania to enable the transfer of the lion "John", through the state of Albania, from where it was smuggled to Kosovo.
I am closely cooperating with the Albanian Minister, Klosi, and with the Embassy of the Republic of Albania in Prishtina and we are waiting for the completion of the necessary documentation
from the Albanian State, in order for this issue to come to an end.
It is regretful that such an easy problem has taken so long to resolve. This comes also as a result of the obstacles that the state of Kosovo has in relation to certain conventions.
At the same time, I express my gratitude to the “Four Paws” Foundation for expressing its willingness to cover the organization of the transport of the lion "John", from Kosovo to a third country,
in this case in the Netherlands.
Minister of Economy and Environment