Lion escapes from circus and terrorises a town in Italy

Lion escapes from circus

“Help, a lion has escaped from the circus”. It sounded like a joke, one of those in bad taste that run on social media. But no, the lion with his proud mane had really disappeared from the cage at the circus in Viale Mediterraneo, calmly strolling through the streets of Ladispoli near Rome. And for a whole day, he had the police, circus organisers, zoo guards, volunteers, the fire brigade, even a police helicopter involved in his recapture.

The mayor warned: “Don’t leave home. Please pay the utmost attention and avoid going out until further notice”. The lion’s escape was reported around 3pm by the Rony Roller Circus. With sirens blaring, carabinieri, police, city guards and zoo officials rushed to the circus in the unsuccessful hope of getting him back to hiscage immediately.

Unsuccessful searches took place in the afternoon, then darkness fell. The helicopter, thanks to infrared devices, managed to find the animal around 5.30pm first near the main road but it turned back and took refugein a reed bed near the railway.

Lion sedated and recaptured

An expert from Tuscany who specialises in capturing wild animals was sent for because – as revealed on the ‘Circo Errani di Fagiolino’ Facebook page – the lion was frightened and refused to eat the sedative they tried to give him in some meat.

Around 8pm the lion was shot with a sedative from a rifle but it seemed to not take effect and the animal once more fled. It was finally tracked down at 10pm after 7 hours on the loose.

Meanwhile, controversy broke out. “The episode”, wrote the International Organisation for the Protection of Animals, “highlights the danger of circuses with animals from the point of view of public safety and above all the discomfort of the animals”. The organisation added, “We hope to see the introduction of a law to ban theuse of animals in circus shows”.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.


    • Brian

      13 November 2023 • 13:50

      Circuses with animals should be banned all over the world

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