Citizens of Targoviste, a city in southern Romania, were notified on Thursday morning May 12, via the public RO-Alert system, that a lion was roaming the streets of the city freely.
Several residents alerted the authorities to the presence of the lioness. However, authorities were unable to locate the animal, according to the latest media reports.
Representatives from the local zoo said their lions were all locked up and accounted for, meaning the free lion may belong to a local.
“DSV Dâmboviţa is not aware of the existence and breeding of wild animals in the households of the population, but there have been lions here in the region in the past. However, this menagerie has not been operating for several years, after its activity was banned,” said Dr. Liviu Cobianu, head of the DSV Damboviţa service, quoted by Adevarul.ro.
The opening of a farm or a zoo with exotic animals is possible in Romania but the managers must obtain a special permit, have adequate space and optimal conditions to take care of the animals and have them insured.
Still, there have been reports of Romanian individuals illegally keeping exotic animals, including lions. The most notorious case is that of mob boss Nutu Camataru, whose recently published biography is titled “Tamer of Lions and Suckers”.
(Photo credit: Anke Van Wyk | Dreamstime.com)