Lion’s Escape from Circus Sparks Fear and Raises Animal Rights Concerns in Italian Town

A lion’s escape from a circus in the Italian town of Ladispoli, near Rome, sparked widespread fear among its approximately 40,000 residents. The adult male lion, known as Kimba, broke free from the Rony Roller circus on a recent Saturday, prompting local authorities to urge residents to remain indoors.

Alessandro Grando, the town’s mayor, utilized social media to caution residents about the loose lion and to stay inside their homes. He informed the public that the lion had been located near a water source close to the circus. Meanwhile, circus staff and law enforcement officers were working diligently to recapture the escaped animal.

Residents of Ladispoli took to social media to share videos of the lion wandering the streets. One such video was filmed from inside a car, with the person recording the footage trapped inside the vehicle.

According to local news outlet Corriere Della Sera, it took a team of local police and three veterinarians armed with sedative-loaded rifles seven hours to recapture Kimba. The lion managed to evade capture twice before finally being subdued.

In a follow-up social media post, Mayor Grando confirmed that Kimba had been sedated, captured, and returned to the circus staff. He also expressed his hope that this incident would lead to increased scrutiny of the use of animals in circuses.

Grando used the incident to voice his concerns about the presence of the circus in Ladispoli and to raise questions about the exploitation of animals in such settings. He clarified that he had not authorized the circus’s presence and that the town could not legally prevent circuses with animals from visiting.

Grando expressed his hope that this incident would raise awareness about the issue and contribute to ending the exploitation of animals in circuses. Local media reported that investigations were ongoing to ensure that Kimba’s care complied with animal protection regulations, that his ownership documents were in order, and that the safety measures to prevent escapes were properly implemented.