Mexican authorities said Wednesday they found six tigers, seven baboons, four camels and three dromedaries abandoned in cages without food, water or adequate care in the southern Mexico state of Yucatan.
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The passage of laws forbidding animal acts in circuses has raised fears that the exotic species might be abandoned once they could no longer pay for their keep by performing.
The Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection said a total of 20 animals were found near the city of Merida, many missing claws, teeth or fur.
Many were underweight or had scars or skin infections.
A circus had been set up nearby, but the office did not name it.
The animals were seized, and the office said abandoning such animals could lead to fines of up to $225,000.
“Circuses are urged to avoid fines for abandoning exotic animals,” the office said. Circus owners say they will no longer be able to feed the animals if they can’t show them.