Where to Live If You Want a Pet Lion

The other day I ran across this video of an anonymous woman carrying an annoyed lion down the street. The video was taken in the Sabahiya district of Kuwait, where the woman reportedly keeps that lion as a pet. It recently escaped and terrorized the neighborhood, but she got it back. If you would like to be mildly virally famous like the Kuwaiti woman, here’s a guide to where you can legally own a domestic (but not domesticated) lion in the United States.

Make no mistake: You should not keep a lion as a pet. It is not the cool flex you think it is. Lions are wild animals and cannot be domesticated. They will kill you and eat you unless you defang and declaw them, and that’s terribly cruel. Plus, they smell bad, eat a lot of expensive food, and people will think of you as “that weirdo who owns a lion.” But none of that means you can’t keep a lion as a pet, at least in a few states.

On lions and the law

It’s difficult to legally own a lion in the United States. While there are no federal regulations preventing lion ownership, laws governing exotic animals are left to the states, and they are often very strict. According to Big Cat Rescue, whose colorful owner was a huge part of Netflix’s Tiger King television program, six states will allow you to keep a lion as a pet without a permit—Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Delaware, and Oklahoma. But even within these states, there are county and municipal laws covering pet ownership.

Five states don’t allow private ownership of lions under any circumstances, and the rest allow you to own a lion within certain legal guidelines. These rules vary from state to state, but usually involves getting a lion permit after proving you are not just a numbskull who wants a lion as a pet. Legitimate reasons to keep lions include owning a zoo or circus; conducting lion research at a college, government, or scientific institution; or housing abandoned animals—like the upstanding exotic animal owners featured in Netflix’s Tiger King television program.

Here is a state-by-state breakdown of exotic animals laws.

“Even though it is dumb, I still want a lion. Where can I buy one?”

You should not buy a lion. Instead, you should check out my new favorite website, Born Free USA, which maintains a searchable, comprehensive database of exotic animal attacks and incidents within the United States. It’s the best source for stories about lion attacks and heartwarming tales of sloths biting off children’s fingers. Or, get a house-cat at the pound, name it Simba, and tell people it’s a miniature lion.

If you must own a lion as a pet (and I think I’ve been clear about whether this a good idea), a quick google search will reveal a number of websites that offer various exotic cats for sale. If you are the kind of person who thinks it’s a good idea to own a lion as a pet, I say go ahead and send some shady website your money. What could go wrong? I mean, this site offers a money-back guarantee on a $1,600 lion cub, requires no permit for shipping, and even gives a discount to “very serious clients who do not waste our time.” They also say they are located in San Diego, California, even though California has very strict exotic animal laws—but I’m sure they’re legit.

Seriously, lions shouldn’t be kept as pets.


Источник: Lifehacker