For seven hours, residents and holiday home owners in the small seaside resort of Ladispoli, near Rome, were understandably worried: after all, it is not every day that a full-grown lion roams the streets.
According to initial reports, the police started chasing the hunter, but the lion, which had escaped from a circus, always managed to escape. The hunter roamed the streets of the city of 40,000, north of the well-known Fiumicino airport. Mayor Alessandro Grando warned the population to be “extremely careful”. Police, along with circus staff, tried to recapture the lion – but were initially unsuccessful.
Shortly before 10 pm, the lion, which had disappeared into a belt of reeds, was seen again: he was stunned and eventually captured.
There is heated debate in the community as to why circuses with hunters are still allowed into town. Mayor Grando writes: “For those who will ask themselves: ‘Why do you still allow circuses with animals in Ladispoli? Why were circuses approved?’ I answer them that I do not accept anything.
It is not his job to do so. You can’t stop a circus with animals from coming to town. Grando: “We tried it in 2017, but we lost the appeal before the administrative court and the applicants also had to reimburse their court costs.”