A circus lion named Kimba decided to go on an unscheduled outing over the weekend.
According to UK Yahoo! News, residents of Ladispoli near Rome were warned to remain inside for five hours Saturday evening after Kimba’s escape led to numerous sightings of the lion taking a leisurely stroll.
Rony Roller Circus animal handler Rony Vassallo noted the 8-year-old big cat was harmless.
UK Yahoo! News reported Vasallo told the AFP, “He met with people in an environment he wasn’t used to… and nothing happened, he didn’t even for a second have the instinct to attack a person.”
Vassallo expressed more concern for the animal stating, “that someone could have harm the animal, out of fear, or excess enthusiasm.”
He also noted that his family, who runs the circus, was highly concerned and that they believe Kimba’s escape was an intentional act of sabotage.
Just who carried out this alleged incident is uncertain. But Vassallo noted that “everything was in order,” when he checked on Kimba in his cage and that the situation was “very strange.”
Kimba was born in captivity. Footage of his excursion was posted to X, formerly Twitter, and displayed no signs of aggression from the animal.
— Michele Galvani (@MicheleGalvani) November 11, 2023
User Michele Galvani wrote, “Incredible what is happening.”
Mayor Alessandro Grando posted to Facebook upon Kimba’s recapture, via People Magazine.
He stated, “The lion has been sedated and captured. It will now be handed over by the circus staff.”
“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.”
He then concluded, “I hope that this episode will stir some consciences, and that we can finally put an end to the exploitation of animals in circuses.”
Conversations regarding animal exploitation have been sparked over the incident.
Whether Kimball just wanted to take a look around town or was trying to leave behind her performance career remains a mystery, but the Rony Roller Circus’s website displays an image of the ringmaster kissing a lion’s head, displaying affection for the creature.
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