In a statement, MAAC explains that, with the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), the collection process was concluded and that in total 10 animals (three crocodiles, four snakes, two tigers and one lion) were transported to sanctuaries in Germany and Spain.

Through the voluntary delivery programme created by the ICNF, in a partnership between the Environmental Fund (FA), the Animal Advocacy and Protection (which transported the animals) and the association representing circus activities, the animals were sent to reception centres, "according to the biological and ethological characteristics and needs of each animal", the statement said.

Protocols were signed late last year to support the voluntary surrender of circus animals, which are banned from 2025.

The law, of 2019, establishes conditions and a ban on wild animals in circuses but admits companion and livestock animals. It also calls for the creation of a register and a portal for animals used in circuses.

In the national registry consulted by Lusa, on the website of the Directorate General of Food and Veterinary, there are more than 80 circus animals registered as of last October. Most are dogs and horses, but there are also, among other species, boa constrictors, tigers and camels. Animals like lions or elephants are almost non-existent.