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12th Nov 2023

Escaped lion terrifies locals as it prowls streets of Italian town

Simon Kelly

Escaped lion terrifies locals as it prowls streets of Italian town

The big cat escaped from a travelling circus

An escaped lion has terrified locals of a small Italian town, after residents were put on high alert when the big cat made a break for it.

The animal reportedly prowled the streets of Ladispoli, near Rome, for several hours before being captured. The town’s mayor, Alessandro Grando, told residents to stay at home on Saturday while police and circus staff tracked it down.

Multiple videos emerged online of the big beast, reportedly named Kimba, walking through deserted residential streets on Saturday night.

Grando stated in a Facebook post: “A lion has escaped from the circus located in Viale Mediterraneo. The animal has been immediately located in the adjacent watercourse.

“Circus personnel are undertaking capture operations with the support of law enforcement, which promptly intervened at the scene. Please exercise utmost caution and avoid travel until further notice.”

In a separate Facebook post around 9.30pm UK time, Grando said the lion had been “sedated and captured”.

“Now he will be taken in hand by the circus staff,” he wrote, thanking emergency services and volunteers who helped during “these hours of great concern”.

“I hope that this episode can stir some consciences, and that we can finally put an end to the exploitation of animals in circuses,” the mayor added.

In his post, the mayor also said that despite attempting to ban circuses from the town in 2017, he could not prevent it from performing until legislation changes.

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