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