Whether or not you’ve ever thought about what a lion burger would taste like, it seems people across the US are developing a taste for it. This has raised concerns amongst experts who want to know where the meat has been coming from and what kind of impact it could have on wild lions.
Every now and again, lion burgers sourced from captive-populations crop up in restaurants around the country. These sightings provoke one of two responses – outrange and curiosity.
One of the first lion meat cases emerged in 2010, when an Arizona restaurant served the big cat burgers in honour of the South African football World Cup. More recently, it has made an appearance in tacos from Florida, and meat skewers in California. Each time it has the same effect, some people react with anger and disbelief, while other flock to the restaurants offering such a rare delicacy.
Illinois, is believed to be a trade hub where lions are sourced, slaughtered, and packaged. One state representative is even trying to introduce a ban on the lion meat, in an attempt to curb the trend.
Currently, the sale of lion burgers in the US in completely legal. As long as the animal it is derived from is not on an endangered species list, it’s fair game. This has led to some petitioning for the additions of lions to the list.
It’s worth noting that the meat doesn’t come from wild lions – not that this fact makes it acceptable. Instead, it is believed that due to the rise of exotic pet ownership, there are those who find they can no longer look after a growing lion. When that happens, it’s possible the big cats are sold on to facilities who harvest their meat.
If lion burgers in the US were to become an even bigger trend, how long do you think before restaurants start turning to wild populations?
Image: Furryscaly via Flickr