A lion withdrawn from a circus in Guatemala (illustration). - O. Estrada / AFP

A lion belonging to a circus installed for more than a year near Segré (Maine-et-Loire) was seized by the gendarmes following breaches of the regulations observed during an inspection, we learned on Thursday with the gendarmerie and the parquet of Angers. Simba, 15, who belongs to the Bostok circus, was apparently not ill-treated, but he was kept in a simple trailer, according to the Foundation 30 million friends.

During a control carried out on January 23 by the services of the prefecture and the OFB, "offenses related to the exploitation of the circus and the keeping of animals" were noted, leading the public prosecutor to order the placement of the lion in a specialized structure, indicates the gendarmerie. A veterinarian and representatives of the Foundation 30 million friends were present to examine the animal and the packaging before transport.

The circus had no authorization

According to Arnauld Lhomme, head of investigations at the Foundation, the director "had no authorization to open his circus and kept the lion, out of affection, in a trailer for several years after seeing him grow up and fed baby bottle. He no longer used it in his numbers ”. "The lion was not starving but keeping an animal in a trailer without removing it, these are conditions unworthy for a wild animal," he said.

In the margins of the control, an altercation occurred between the agents and the director of the circus, threats and insults were uttered and the agents of the State lodged a complaint. This director is summoned before the criminal court for "unauthorized opening of an establishment presenting non-domestic animals to the public" as well as for contempt, threats and obstacle to control. He will be judged according to the procedure of appearance of prior recognition of guilt (CRPC).

The lion was entrusted to an association located in the Loire which collects wild animals seized by the authorities.


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