A lion from Circo Americano has died in Madrid, leading an animal welfare group to call for an investigation.
AnimaNaturalis has filed a formal complaint with Seprona, the animal and natural welfare branch of the Guardia Civil, to conduct inspections and investigate whether the animal was properly staffed and received required care.
The group, part of the Infocircos coalition of animal rights protectors which includes the Born Free Foundation, also wants the authorities to take into account all offences committed by Circo Americano.
The circus was sanctioned in 2012 for noise pollution offences and operating without a licence and has received a number of complaints related to animal welfare over the years.
Last year, Madrid City Council issued two more sanctions, one for excess noise and the other for using vehicles without municipal authorisation.
Aïda Gascón, the Director of AnimaNaturalis in Spain, said: “Lions, and most animals used in circuses, suffer from low temperatures, together with health problems characteristic of a life in captivity, such as atrophied muscles, the stress of an itinerant life or malnutrition, which often leads to death, sometimes at a very young age”.