A Lithuanian circus owner spent a night locked up in a bear enclosure in protest of the authorities' decision to confiscate his animal.
Nikolajus Zobovas, who runs the Ąžuolyno Meškučių Cirkas (Oakwood Bear Circus) in Rokiškis District, northern Lithuania, locked himself up with his only remaining bear, named Vipa, on Tuesday night.
Police and environmental workers were trying to take the bear from Zobovas after his permission to keep wild animals was revoked due to violations. The bear was to be taken to a public zoo.
“When I felt that the police was about to tie me up, ][...] I ran to open and enter the bear's enclosure,” Zobovas told reporters from the cage.
He said 21 people came to take the animal from him.
The police have remained on site throughout the night and said they would continue to talk to Zobovas to convince him to leave the enclosure.
Last month, the Environment Protection Department inspected Zobovas' circus and found that another bear, named Kvina, was missing.
Last year, Ąžuolyno Meškučių Cirkas was fined €15 for keeping animals in poor conditions.
Update: Zobovas agreed on Wednesday afternoon to hand over the bear to environmental workers.
The man received a phone call from Minister of Environment Kęstutis Mažeikis. Zobovas has told the minister that he will allow to take his bear when the weather is right for transportation.