An organisation described as the “zoo from hell” has been shut down by Albanian authorities after images of the mistreated animals within surfaced online.

An anonymous photographer leaked the photos of the animals in Safari Park Zoo, in Fier, Albania, which showed the awful, cramped and unhygienic living conditions they had to suffer with.

Albania’s Minister of Tourism and Environment, Blendi Klosi, was responsible for shutting the zoo down after the pictures came to his attention.

The appalled photographer said:

All the animals are kept in tiny, unhygienic concrete cages with no possibility to retreat from the elements or from the prying eyes of visitors to the zoo.

The animals suffer from a range of physical and psychological issues caused by the miserable conditions, improper veterinary care and lack of an appropriate diet.

It’s thought that over half a million animals are suffering for the industry.

The camera is a potent weapon for getting these issues into the public domain.

He went on to say that in the private-owned zoo, there were three adult lions, zebra, several deer, monkeys, a bear, and a malnourished wolf. All of the animals looked malnourished, but one lion in particular looked in a very bad way, with looked to be an infected eye.

With the issue raised, Animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS intervened in conjunction with Albanian authorities to make sure they saved the animals before it was too late.

Ioana Dungler, head of the Wild Animals Department, said:

The situation at the Safari Park Zoo in Fier is clearly absolutely unacceptable for the animals remaining there.

The conditions do not even come close to being appropriate, particularly for large wild animals like lions and bears which have very specific environmental and dietary needs.

Signs of the mental and physical impact of being kept in such abject surroundings can be clearly seen on each of the poor animals at the zoo.”

Vets apparently described the condition of the animals as some of the worst they’ve ever witnessed.

Hopefully the animals can start a new life now in proper sanctuaries and live happy and fulfilled lives.

Images via Caters