Lion cub in Bentley spooks Pattaya

Lion cub in Bentley spooks Pattaya

Authorities looking into ownership of animal after video goes viral

Nervous onlookers keep an eye on a lion cub admiring the view from its owner’s Bentley convertible on Phra Tamnak Soi 5 in Pattaya. (Captured from video/Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
Nervous onlookers keep an eye on a lion cub admiring the view from its owner’s Bentley convertible on Phra Tamnak Soi 5 in Pattaya. (Captured from video/Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

PATTAYA: A video featuring a lion cub riding in a Bentley convertible driven by a foreigner along a crowded street in this beach town has sparked fear and criticism after it went viral online.

Residents living along Phra Tamnak Soi 5, where the video was taken, said they often spotted a foreign man driving his Bentley, accompanied by his lion cub sitting in the back seat. Their usual route takes them to Dong Tan beach and Yin Yom beach before the driver returns to his house in the evening.

The lion appears calm and domesticated and has a collar and leash.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has launched an investigation into the incident, according to local media reports.

Ownership of exotic animals like lions is legal in Thailand but officials will try to determine if the Bentley driver is the owner of the animal and has the proper permits.

In March last year, residents of a luxury housing estate in Pattaya went into a panic after they saw a white lion cub wandering around the community.

The animal’s Chinese owner, who had purchased it for 500,000 baht, had reported it missing but later informed officers that he found it hiding inside the house.

Authorities who visited the house discovered that the cub was not confined to a cage but allowed to roam freely.

Residents of Phra Tamnak Soi 5 in Pattaya say a lion cub is a frequent sight in the populated area.

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