You may already know that some wealthy people in the Middle East like to pose in their flashy cars with exotic cats in the passenger seat. They often pose with tiger cubs or sometimes cheetahs. This unfortunate craze promotes a flourishing but illegal trade in wild cats. Young wild cats are taken from their parents to satisfy this self-indulgent demand.
An animal welfare foundation in France, Reha Hutin of 20 Million d’Amis, said that youths from migrant communities in suburban council estates want to copy their Middle Eastern counterparts; the monarchs, footballers and pop stars who post pictures on Instagram with the animals.
We are told in The Times that a man was arrested this week on the Champs Elysee with a two-month-old lion cub in a green Lamborghini. The cub’s name is Putin (aka Dadou – see picture above).
Police believe that the animal and the car were hired by Middle Eastern tourists.
The foundation mentioned above has taken charge of the cub. They say the animal was in poor health and would have died if they are not rescued him or her. They further say that this is the sixth time that detectives had found a tiger club held without authorisation in France over the past year.
Tiger cubs are bought on the black market for €300 and hired out for €2,000. The foundation say that the cubs come from circuses and they want the government to ban them from breeding wild animals.