Talk about a mane attraction.
A lion escaped from an Italian circus over the weekend before it was found and sedated by authorities, local outlets report.
The Big Cat, named Kimba, escaped from the Rony Roller Circus in Viale Mediterraneo near Rome and began to wander around the streets of Ladispoli around 5 p.m. local time.
Locals and tourists captured the footage of the animal roaming the streets in the dark which quickly went viral on social media.
A lion escapes a circus near Rome, Italy. pic.twitter.com/xmghIus30o
— Imtiaz Mahmood (@ImtiazMadmood) November 12, 2023
Ladispoli mayor Alessandro Grando said that the cause of the escape of the animal is being investigated as witnesses noticed three personnel running from the circus tent and found a “broken jock” where the lion should have been locked in, per CNN.
“Thank you State Police, Carabinieri, Firefighters, Local and Provincial Police, ASL and all the volunteers who served during these hours of great learning,” Grando said via Facebook after Kimba had been caught around 10:30 PM local time. “I hope this episode can raise some conscience, and that we can finally put an end to animal exploitation in circuses.”
The lion was reportedly in good condition when found, though he looked frightened, according to local broadcaster RAI.
Early Monday morning, Grando called for the removal of the circus from the city immediately.
“In the light of what has happened in the last few hours, I asked the competent municipal offices to check whether there are legal preconditions to revoke the concession previously issued to the expected #circus in Viale Mediterraneo,” he shared on social media. “In the early afternoon, I will meet the managers of the circus, whom I will ask to leave our city prematurely, without controversy.”
The Rony Roller Circus is set to stay in Ladispoli until November 19.