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Lion sleeps it off after stroll through Italian town

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A lion that escaped from an Italian circus has been taking well-deserved naps to recover from a Saturday night out in the seaside town of Ladispoli that sparked panic before authorities managed to recapture him.

A lion that escaped from a circus near Rome is seen in front of a house before it was captured and sedated to be brought back to “Rony Roller” circus, November 11, 2023. Picture: Carabinieri Military Police, Handout via Reuters

LADISPOLI, Italy – A lion that escaped from an Italian circus has been taking well-deserved naps to recover from a Saturday night out in the seaside town of Ladispoli that sparked panic before authorities managed to recapture him.

The adult lion, named “Kimba”, escaped from the “Rony Roller” circus on Saturday afternoon and was on the loose for around seven hours before he was sedated with an anaesthetic dart.

Footage and pictures, some taken by locals, went viral and showed the lion roaming around the town streets, skirting houses and fences, and standing in front of a Carabinieri police car.

Local authorities are investigating how the lion managed to get out of its metal enclosure.

“What happened is very strange … All we can say is that a lion does not have the ability to open a latch and break a lock,” Rony Vassallo, the animal supervisor and trainer at the circus told Reuters.

In a Facebook post on Monday, local mayor Alessandro Grando wrote that he would ask council experts to check if there were legal grounds to revoke the permits for the “Rony Roller” circus. The travelling circus was scheduled to stay in Ladipsoli between November 9-19.

Some locals expressed solidarity with Kimba.

“I am sorry, because it is in prison. It should be in its environment, the Savannah,” said Ladispoli resident Giuseppe Altavilla.

A circus lion “Kimba” that managed a short escape from its enclosure at “Ronny Roller” circus over the weekend is seen in its cage in Ladispoli, Italy, on Monday, November 13, 2023. Picture: Reuters, Roberto Mignucci

– REUTERS

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