Mayor suggests lock on lion cage was 'sabotaged' after it escaped from circus
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A mayor has shared his theories on how a lion broke out of the circus over the weekend.
Mayor Alessandro Grando took to social media on Saturday (11 November), to warn residents of the lion's breakout as he urged people to be vigilant and to stay home.
The large cat - named Kimba - was on the loose for several hours before being captured around 10pm local time the same day.
"The lion has been sedated and captured. It will now be handed over by the circus staff," Grando said on social media on Saturday evening.
"I thank the State Police, the Carabinieri, the Fire Department, the local and provincial police, the Asl [Local Health Authority], and all the volunteers who served during these hours of great apprehension."
Noting the controversy surrounding wild animals still being in the circus, he added: "I hope that this episode will stir some consciences, and that we can finally put an end to the exploitation of animals in circuses."
The Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA) echoed similar concerns.
It said that the ordeal 'highlights the danger of circuses with animals from the point of view of public safety and, above all, the discomfort of poor creatures forced into captivity to be used for entertainment purposes'.
OIPA now hopes that a new law will be put in place that will ban circuses from having animals.
In the wake of the lion's escape, many have questioned how the large cat managed to break free - and Grando has shared the theory that the animal was released on purpose.
Apparently a broken lock had been found on the Kimba's cage and circus workers saw three people fleeing the scene.
"They are talking about sabotage," the mayor said as he confirmed that an investigation is underway.
There are a number of countries across the globe that have banned the use of wild animals in circuses.
Some of these places include England, Austria, Colombia, Romania, Scotland and Mexico.
One of the most recent countries to impose the ban was France, with the European country announcing the news back in 2021.
The legislation was hailed as 'a historic step in the animal rights combat' at the time.
The US is yet to bring in a nationwide ban, but states such as California, Colorado and Hawaii have imposed bans of using most wild and exotic animals in circus acts.