In a major win for lions, on Monday the Obama administration proposed listing the African lion as a threatened species. This move is aimed at protecting this magnificent species from the illegal wildlife trade, as well as from the exotic meat trade. The bizarre practice of consuming lion meat has been noted in several U.S. restaurants. The International Fund for Animal Welfare has spoken out against at least ten American restaurants that serve lion meat on their menus since 2010. At least one of them boasts serving lion tacos, others serve this animal’s flesh as steak.
Surprisingly, there are no current regulations that prevent the sale or transport of lion or lion parts in the U.S. market. Populations of wild lions have fallen drastically in the past two decades. Up to 76,000 lions roamed Africa in 1980, and according to Fish and Wildlife Services, that has dwindled to approximately 35,000 today.