AN ITALIAN town has been put on red alert after a lion escaped from a local circus.
Residents of Ladispoli, near Rome, were told to stay at home on Saturday after the beast went missing.
Alessandro Grando, mayor of Ladispoli, issued the warning on social media, saying police were helping circus staff search for the animal.
“A lion escaped from the circus,” he wrote, saying it had been traced to watercourse next to the site.
“Please pay full attention and avoid travel until further notice.”
Anticipating residents’ complaints, he said he had not authorised the presence of a circus with lions in the town, but he did not have the power to block it.
Read more in World News
Videos have already surfaced on social media of the lion prowling through local neighbourhoods.
Terrified onlookers have filmed the animal from inside the safety of their homes as it makes its way through the darkness.
One person even captured the lion walking past their car as flashing lights from emergency services can be seen in the background.