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Lion roams streets of Italian town following circus escape: Netizens critique use of animals in circus acts

In Ladispoli, Italy, a circus lion named Kimba escaped, triggering an urgent response from Mayor Alessandro Grando. Residents were instructed to stay indoors as capture efforts unfolded. Videos on social media intensified criticism of using wild animals in circuses, supporting the mayor’s call to end such exploitation.




LADISPOLI, ITALY: On Saturday (11 Nov) in Ladispoli, Italy, near Rome, a circus lion named Kimba’s escape prompted an urgent response from Mayor Alessandro Grando.

Immediately, Mayor Grando advised residents to stay home and exercise vigilance.

The incident unfolded around 05:00 p.m. local time, leading circus personnel, supported by law enforcement, to initiate capture operations in the nearby waterway.

Ladispoli residents were instructed to remain indoors as the situation unfolded, with videos on social media depicting the lion wandering the streets.

Mayor Grando, upon investigation, suggested the lion’s escape might be linked to sabotage. A broken lock at the circus and a staff member’s report of three individuals fleeing the scene supported this suspicion, as reported by CNN.

After a five-hour ordeal, Mayor Grando announced on Facebook, just after 10:00 p.m. local time, that Kimba had been successfully sedated and captured.

Mayor Grando expressed gratitude to various agencies involved in the operation, including the State Police, Carabinieri, Fire Department, local and provincial police, Local Health Authority (Asl), and volunteers.

In the attempt to locate Kimba, veterinarians used a dart equipped with a geolocator, eventually surrounding the lion near a school.

Despite mild hypothermia, Kimba appeared to be in good condition.

The Carabinieri are currently investigating the incident.

The Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA) seized the opportunity to highlight the dangers of circuses involving animals, advocating for a legal ban on such practices.

Mayor Grando echoed this sentiment, expressing hope that the episode would prompt a reevaluation of the use of animals in circuses.

Italian circus animal welfare legislation faces delay until 2024

As reported by The Brussels Times, the majority of European Union (EU) member states have already implemented national legislation aimed at restricting the use of animals in circuses, with a focus on ethical and animal welfare considerations.

Nevertheless, some notable EU countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, currently lack national restrictions on circus animal usage.

Additionally, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Hungary have only imposed restrictions on certain species of wild animals.

Despite these efforts, a comprehensive law addressing circus animal use in Italy has faced delays, pushing its implementation to 2024.

The Lega Anti Vivisezione (LAV) campaign group reported that nearly 2,000 animals are currently held in circuses across Italy.

This underscores the ongoing challenges in achieving uniform regulations across EU member states and the need for continued advocacy to prioritize animal welfare.

The lion’s escape from the circus stirred intense criticism among netizens

The news of the lion’s escape from the circus triggered strong criticism from netizens, particularly on social media platforms like Facebook.

Many users expressed their disapproval of circus organizers continuing to use wild animals, such as lions, as attractions.


In their comments, netizens argued that these majestic creatures belong in the forest, not confined to the circus arena, deeming it an act of animal abuse.


One netizen pointed out that incidents like the lion’s escape could have been avoided if the circus had chosen to remove wild animals from their attractions altogether.

This perspective emphasized the need for responsible and ethical treatment of animals in entertainment settings.

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Furthermore, there was a consensus among netizens that the perpetuation of animal attractions in circuses persists because there are still individuals willing to pay to watch such shows.

Some users expressed disdain, stating that those who support these acts are contributing to the problem.


In the midst of criticism, there were netizens who called for legal action against those responsible for the incident, emphasizing the endangerment of innocent creatures and the entire town.

The sentiment was that accountability should be upheld for the potential harm caused by the escaped lion.


Amidst the outcry, the mayor’s statement received positive attention from many netizens.

They applauded the mayor’s expressed hope for an end to the exploitation of animals in circuses.

The mayor’s stance resonated with those who believed that such incidents highlighted the urgent need to reconsider the use of animals in entertainment, fostering a collective desire for change.


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