California Restaurant Selling African Lion Meat

| by Michael Allen
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The Mokutanya Yakitori restaurant in Burlingame, California has come under fire and praise for offering African lion meat on its menu.

The meat comes from farms in Illinois, where the lions are raised. One skewer with three cubes of meat, weighing five ounces, costs $70.

“I had it last year. And then I sold out in a week,” said Jason Li of Mokutanya.

Li believes the free market should decide the ethical issues: “If no one buys it, they won’t farm raise it anyway. If we went to hunt it, then it’s a different thing."

While it is not illegal to serve lion in California, Brandy Kuentzel of the SPCA said the lion is listed as a threatened species.

“They really aren’t regulated by one industry from start to finish,” said Kuentzel.

Even though the lion is a threatened species, that didn't stop customers from enjoying it for dinner.

“It was really good,” customer Mike Manole told CBS San Francisco. “It was a little chewier than I expected, but it was really juicy and had a lot of flavor.”

“People, like here, are eating lion then the demand goes up,” said an unidentified woman, who is a regular customer, but is among those who are outraged.

Source: CBS San Francisco