Eight camels and a llama were loose on the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police have said.
The animals were spotted at about 5am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to the circus’s current location. Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.
“Several camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight this evening,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around at a street corner.
“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.
There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.
Mati Munoz, one of the circus’s managers, expressed relief that the furry fugitives – bactrian camels that have two humps and thick, shaggy coats – had been safely caught.
“Nothing happened, thank God,” he said, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering that the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut. “We think [their escape] was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”
Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus) originate from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions. However, the vast majority of them are now domesticated.