A Chinese man in Pattaya has sparked concern among neighbours after allowing his pet lion cub to roam freely within his residential area. According to a Pattaya New report, the police and wildlife officials visited the man’s home in the Banglamung district and found a white lion cub. The Chinese national, named as 39 year old Shen Tai, has confirmed the cub is his.
Shen produced legal documents to show that he had purchased the lion cub from a Thai man who owns a white lion farm in the eastern province of Chachoengsao. The paperwork shows the Chinese man paid 50,000 baht for the lion cub.
However, Shen could not produce the licence required to raise a lion. Officials have set a deadline by which he must obtain the permit from the Office of Conservation Area 2 within an undisclosed timeframe.
Dr. Pairot Promwatt, a veterinarian who was with officials when they visited the cub’s owner, says white lions are wild animals considered dangerous and in the “control” category. Owners are required to hold a permit in order to own such an animal and the animal must be registered with the correct authority.
It is currently legal to have a white lion as a pet in Thailand, provided the paperwork is in order, according to Dr Pairot. The vet added that the lion should be confined to a restricted area so it doesn’t pose a risk to people.
For now, Shen has been allowed to keep his pet, provided he obtains the correct permit. Officials have pledged to follow up with him.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News