Mexico fines circus over mistreatment of animals

Mexican authorities imposed Monday a US$53,000 fine on a circus that featured a black bear whose lower jaw had been removed and a lion and three spider monkeys without claws and fangs.

Environmental protection prosecutors said Harley Circus, located in the small town of Dzidzantun in the southeastern state of Yucatan, was now barred from exhibiting wild animals.

Authorities seized the bear, the lion, the three monkeys and a Bengal tiger in March. The animals have been handed over to two zoos.

The bear, named Invictus, was unable to eat solid foods after his lower jaw was removed, the Profepa environmental prosecutors agency said in a statement.

The lion and monkeys had been declawed and defanged, Profepa said. The tiger had problems in its extremities.

The circus lacked legal permits for the animals.

Mexico City legislators recently approved legislation barring circuses from featuring wild animals, a measure that sparked protests. Five of Mexico’s 32 federal entities have similar laws.

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