Video: A lion escaped a circus near Rome — watch as it wanders the streets for hours
Born in captivity, Kimba the lion experienced his first taste of freedom over the weekend in Italy. Mayor calls for a ban on live animals in circuses
Kimba the lion escaped from Rony Roller Circus in Ladispoli — about an hour outside of Rome — on Saturday. The video on Instagram shows footage of the lion trotting around the seaside town at night and standing guard in front of someone’s front gate to their home.
It’s captioned, “Last night, a lion prowled the streets of Ladispoli, a town near Rome, for several hours after escaping from a local circus before being sedated and captured.” Ladispoli Mayor Alessandro Grando asked residents to stay inside as police and circus staff worked to recapture Kimba.
The escapee was on the run for over five hours Saturday evening until 10:30 p.m., according to CBS News.
Recapturing the lion required assistance from the local police, Italy’s state police, the Carabinieri military police force and locals, NBC reported.
Rony Vassallo, in charge of circus animals, said he didn’t believe Kimba being loose posed much of a threat.
“He met with people in an environment he wasn’t used to ... and nothing happened,” he said, per The Guardian. “He didn’t even for a second have the instinct to attack a person.” Vassallo thought the real danger was “that someone could have harm the animal, out of fear, or excess enthusiasm.”
There are conflicting reports on how Kimba escaped. Grando said, “They are talking about sabotage” and explained how circus staff saw three people running from the area and found a broken lock, according to CNN.
However, Vassallo didn’t comment on accusations that the incident was sabotage and said nothing like this had ever happened before and it was “very strange,” per The Guardian.