There is stupid and then there is buying a lion cub to play with your small children. There are countless ways this situation can go wrong. However, those harsh truths don’t stop rich Russian families from buying lions. These lions do not wander large enclosures, but rather live in the same house as their owners. Talk about a recipe for disaster.
Take, for instance, one anonymous family from Saint Petersburg. As members of the upper middle class, they wanted to express their wealth. In America, you do that by purchasing fancy cars and expensive clothes. Maybe a house you cannot afford. In Russia, you buy a lion. This is the country’s version of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Ultimately, the family purchased a 3-month old female lion cub.
Coming as no surprise, the children loved the new addition to their family…for about an hour. Then she started to bite and claw the children. No ordinary house cat, the lion drew blood and left puncture wounds in arms and legs. Attempting to tire out the wild animal, the parents gave it toys, including a stuffed SpongeBob SquarePants. The lion cub, named Tula, quickly destroyed the children’s toys. Although horrified by the children’s injuries, the lion cub’s ability to pee ultimately sealed its fate.
Within days of purchasing the lion cub, the parents were on the Russian version of eBay. They were desperately trying to sell the “used lion cub” for $1100. In full, the advertisement read: “Attention! Maximum repost! Lion cub, female, three months old. We bought it for our children, but it turned out that the lion cub can scratch, bite and most importantly pee.” That advertisement screams “We have more money than sense!” Of course lions pee. Just because they do not show lions peeing on Animal Planet doesn’t mean they have evolved past needing to urinate.
People who saw the auction posting quickly reported the family to the Russian animal shelter, Veles. Upon going to rescue the female lion cub, they discovered the family also owned a 5-month old male lion cub named Tver. Fortunately, after removing both cubs from the house, the shelter arranged for Taigan Safari Park, located in Belogorsk, to take care of the felines. While at their new home, the growing big cats will receive the 40 pounds of meat per day they need to remain healthy. Moreover, no one there will be shocked when the lion cubs pee.