Image source, Spanish Police

Eight camels and a llama were found walking the streets of Madrid in the early hours of Friday after escaping from a circus, police said.

Quiros Circus, their owner, blamed "sabotage" by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at about 05:00 local time (04:00 GMT) in the southern district of Carabranchel, near where the circus is based.

Officers took care of them so they could be returned "safe and sound", police said.

Circus manager Mati Munoz told AFP that the electric fence around the animals' enclosure had been cut.

Image source, Spain police

He pointed the finger at activists who he said protested against the circus every year.

He said he was relieved the llama and Bactrian camels, which have two humps and thick shaggy coats, had been found.

"Nothing happened, thank God," he said.

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Bactrian camels originally came from the deserts of central and eastern Asia and can survive in extreme conditions.

However the majority of them are now domesticated.