Par-king of the Jungle: Kazakh circus owner stashes lion in van overnight as he takes catnap

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Where better to leave a lion overnight than in a dingy van in a parking lot?

At least that's what a circus owner in northern Kazakhstan thought when he went off for a catnap at the end of a long day's driving after buying the lion.

Police said Wednesday that a parking lot customer was shocked to see the lion calmly lying in the van — called a Gazelle — as he was picking up his car.

The circus proprietor is in the process of expanding his animal collection, which currently consists mainly of smaller specimens, such as guinea pigs, police in the town of Kostanai said.

Police said they seized the lion but plan to return it eventually, while the owner will escape punishment.