Burlingame restaurant to stop serving lion meat dish

May 19, 2013 12:54:15 PM PDT
A restaurant in Burlingame has decided to stop selling a very rare and controversial dish -- lion meat -- after facing protests and threatening phone calls.

Mokutanya features exotic meat on its menu, including peacock, iguana, venison, alligator, and kangaroo.

The owner decided to try out lion last week. He purchased a portion of farm-raised African lion from a company in Illinois.

After posting a picture on Facebook, people flooded the page with angry comments. The owner says he received more than 200 calls Saturday, some of which were threatening.

"Some of them is really nice and peaceful like 'oh, can you stop selling lion meat?'" restaurant owner Jason Li Mokutanya said. "And some of them is like saying 'oh, I going to come in and rape you and kill you.'"

Serving lion is not illegal. It's on the threatened list, not the endangered list.

There are an estimated 23,000 still in the wild.

Critics say even farm raised lion meat is unethical because it helps people develop a taste for it, which could boost an interest in hunting the big cats in Africa.


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