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Circus owner sent to prison 2 years after animal rescue

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Mistreatment of bears and other animals in circuses is illegal now. Photo: File

The man whose circus drew negative attention three years ago for allegedly abusing animals has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Jose Luis Orozco Lara, owner of the Harley Circus where an American black bear named Invictus was found with his jaw removed, also must pay a 72,800-peso fine.

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) obtained the criminal conviction on the basis of crimes against biodiversity for damage to wildlife specimens in district court.

As part of the ruling, the bailiff also ordered the final seizure of the deceased American bear’s remains, plus a Bengal tiger, an African lion and three spider monkeys.

The bear’s jaw, which had become infected and was removed, made it impossible for him to ingest solid food. He died that October.

In August 2014, Profepa levied a fine of over 700,000 pesos against the circus for failing to prove the legal origin of the wildlife specimens.

Source: Press release

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