Lebanon rescues two smuggled baby lions

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STORY: Animals Lebanon said police of the northern city of Batroun stopped on Friday (September 29) a vehicle transporting hundreds of birds, some found dead, and two baby lions.

The Lebanese minister of culture said the animals were smuggled from Syria into Lebanon.

The two lions were handed over to Animals Lebanon for care, pending a decision from a judge specializing in environmental affairs - and the organization is seeking legal action to send the animals to an internationally accredited sanctuary.

According to Animals Lebanon, the two lions are likely from the same mother, one male weighing 10.5 lbs (4.8 kg) and one female weighing 12.1 lbs (5.5 kg), and were being transported in small plastic cat crates, unable to stand or lay down properly.

The rescue charity estimates their age between 1.5 to 2 months old, based on their size and weight - and said that they were both dehydrated and underweight.