October 31, 2005

Police seize lion after neighbors’ uproar

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) - Police seized a lion in
poor health from a private home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
after scared neighbors squawked about the beast's roar, police
said on Friday.

Inspector Ione Rodrigues told Reuters the owners of the
15-year-old retired circus lion called Baby did not have a
license for the animal and would face criminal charges for

"The lion was kept in a small cage in the covered backyard
of the house. It was very skinny and presented signs of
atrophy," she said.

The animal was transferred to the Rio Zoo on Thursday, the
same day it was taken from the house.

"We've received many anonymous reports. The neighbors were
scared by the roaring and feared the cage did not provide
enough security," Rodrigues said.

The punishment for ill-treatment of animals may include
compulsory community service in addition to a hefty fine.

Rio state banned circus performances with the use of exotic
animals in 2002. The lion's owners work in the circus.