Lions are one of the most famous animals on earth; they gained many fans with their sheer beauty and majestic royalty. People love to see them even on the screen, and the movie ‘The Lion King‘ got a huge accolade for the father-son duo of beasts. So did you ever get the urge to have a lion as a pet and want to own one, wondering all the requirements of it? Or Is it even possible to have a lion as a pet? If yes, how much do they cost? Let us discuss this in this article.
How Much Does A Lion Cost?
In some areas, having a lion as a pet is allowed.
An adult lion would cost anywhere from $5000, but this can go up to $20,000. Let’s also keep in mind that the price range largely depends on the breed of the lion. For example, a white lion, one of the rarest species, can cost up to $150,000. However, lion cubs are slightly cheaper, and one from the same species costs between $1,600 and $15,000.
The above-mentioned initial cost of acquiring a lion did not include any insurance or the cost of breeding a lion.
Can You Buy A lion?
Yes, Why not? If you have a good bank balance and experience in handling exotic cats, particularly lions, you can definitely buy a lion (not to forget it is possible in only a few places).
But to reiterate the fact, a lion is not an ordinary cat but the ‘king of the jungle’ himself. So, before getting on the journey of owning a lion, you should be prepared and capable of owning such a creature.
Is It Legal To Own A Lion In The US?
If you live in the US, your situation can be perplexing as the US government is stringent regarding owning wildlife as pets.
This is because the US state believes that any activity that risks citizens’ lives should be outlawed. Sticking to the same point, the US government has banned the purchase of bizarre pets in its 21 states. Sadly, lions fall in the same category.
But wait! We are not done yet! You can still fulfill your dream of owning ‘the king of the jungle‘ as a pet if you live in the states mentioned below:
- North California
- South California
Is It Legal To Own A Lion In The UK?
The government of the UK is more flexible towards the citizens in purchasing exotic pets. The process is comparatively simple and time-saving.
You just need to get a license from the state and submit it before the officials to get a lion. When you have a license, you are eligible to own a lion and all big cats such as tiger, cheetah, puma, and jaguar.
Remember that if someone tries to be over-smart and owns an exotic pet without a permit, the consequences can be severe. Also, you must have a private property under your name to be eligible to own a lion.
Do Lions Make Good Pets? Keeping A Pet Lion Safe?
We have seen some videos on social media networks where a lion would be seen licking, cuddling, and bonding with a human, probably its owner. Some of us may also think about getting a lion as a pet after watching such videos. So, let’s discuss whether lions would make good pets; more specifically, can they be domesticated?
Even though a lion cub may look cute to you, remember that it is a wild animal, and when it gets bigger, it will be more powerful and wilder. When you raise a lion from a very young age, it will consider you as a member of their pack. Your care and support from their cub years may suppress their wild side; however, you can still be attacked sometimes.
If they feel like you are not a threat to them and they feel safe and comfortable with you, lions can show affection and love to you. But remember that they belong to the wild and can never be tamed and domesticated.
Lions are aggressive animals and like to show their dominance over other animals by attacking or killing them, which means, even if your lion has lived with you since it was a cub, there is a high possibility that on getting hungry, it will only see you like a piece of meat. A lion will take only a few seconds to kill you.
It’s not that simple to have a lion as a pet after being inspired just by a youtube reel; first, you need to understand their nature and get trained to tame them.
Also Read: Do Lions Smell Bad?
Where Can You Buy A Lion?
Buying exotic wild cats such as lions is more complex than purchasing domestic cats or dogs. As they are expensive and dangerous, the number of vendors who deal with them is limited. You can visit any nearby marketplaces of the states which permit the ownership of exotic cats and produce your license to the rescue team to get one.
There are also some online marketplaces, and you can start your work simply by visiting any such websites from the comfort of your home. According to some experts, the online world has more variety than the physical marketplace, as you can choose from different options, such as color, age, and breed.
After producing the necessary documents, the online vendor will guide you through the remaining process.
Tip: Beware of some fake sites. Only transfer your money after confirming it is a genuine seller.
How Much Does A Baby Lion Cost?
If you still wish to have a lion as a pet, even after considering all the dangerous consequences. Naturally, the best option is to consider purchasing a baby lion. The training will be easier when it’s young, and you can tame it however you want.
The rates for a baby would be between $2,000-$15000. The price varies depending on the breed of the lion. Some commonly opt lion breeds are:
- Asian lion
- White lion
- Masai lion
- Abyssinian lion
- Katanga lion
- African lion
How Much Does A White Lion Cost?
Anything variety attracts everybody’s attention, and white lions are no different. With their white-furred body, they have got many admirers all over the world. But they are costly as they are a very rarest breed on the planet. Some publications say they may cost around $300,00 for a pair of white lions, as they don’t prefer to live alone.
- The first sighting of a white lion was made in 1938 in South Africa.
- A gene mutation in the parents causes the skin to be lighter than usual.
How To Pet A Lion?
Let’s start with the prerequisites first. A license from the appropriate agency is required; typically, it’s the ‘Department of Wildlife and Rescue’ or an equivalent office. You also have to prove to the state agency that you can take care of and barricade your potentially dangerous pet from harming your family, community, and yourself. This can be the most challenging part while applying for a license.
These licenses and dues can cost you well over $200 per year, and you must renew them before it expires.
The state and federal agencies will also require a liability insurance policy, which can cost you anywhere between $1k to $1.5k a year, depending on insurance factors. It protects you from lawsuits and other potential legal issues if your lion attacks and/or injures someone. Most of the time, it is very tiring to find a reputable insurance company to protect you.
When you finish all the documents, you will have to ensure you have your cage built before purchasing a lion. Ideally, it should be 20-foot wide and a 15-foot-deep cage. The sides can be 10 to 16 feet high, depending on whether there is a top.
It’s better to keep the cage as close to its natural habitat as possible by plating grass and trees inside it. If you purchase more than one lion, then the size of the cage should be increased by at least 50% per lion. A watering hole should also be arranged for them to bathe and drink water. Most states and federal regulations require a perimeter fence at least eight feet tall on a minimum of five acres.
A lion requires annual vaccinations and fecal examinations for internal diseases twice yearly. And a lion’s diet is the most important thing when keeping it as a pet. You must feed it with a high-quality protein diet. Lions feed on animals like rabbits, sheep, chickens, horses, etc. Food and managing its health as it grows will significantly add to the animal’s cost.
Remember that not all vets will be capable of caring for your lion. In fact, it can be pretty hard to find one in your area that is willing to take a lion as a patient. So, it would be best if you made sure to research all these things before deciding to purchase a lion or a cub.
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Bones?
What do lion cubs eat?
When the lion cubs are very little, they only feed on their mother’s breast milk, and they start eating meat only when they are 2-3 months old. However, most of them continue to feed on breast milk until they reach 6 to 10 months. They need their mother for food and protection from other predators as they can be preyed on easily by other animals at this age.
They start participating in hunting from the age of 11 months and become independent before they reach two years.
The average lifespan of a lion in the wild can be around 8-10 years, while females may live up to 16 years. In captivity, lions tend to live longer as they do not face any threats from the wild, and the average lifespan of a lion in captivity is 20-26 years. They can grow up to 130 inches long and weigh up to 675 pounds.
Firstly, the cost of purchasing a lion is not only the initial acquisition price but also includes the ongoing expenses of providing for their needs. Feeding a majestic creature like a lion can be pretty expensive as they require a diet consisting mainly of meat which will easily cost thousands of dollars per year. Additionally, lions need adequate veterinary care and specialized housing to ensure their health and welfare, which incurs additional costs.
Secondly, owning a lion requires extensive knowledge and experience with exotic animal care and strict regulations and permits from local authorities. Failing to adhere to these regulations may result in legal consequences and even animal confiscation.
Lastly, it is essential to consider whether owning a lion is ethical, as keeping them in captivity deprives them of their natural habitat and instincts. As majestic and awe-inspiring as they may seem, lions are wild animals that should be respected in their natural environment rather than being kept solely for human entertainment or status symbols.
With that said, I hope this guide clears all your queries regarding owning lions as pets. Remember that the price of a lion is not just about the money. When you buy a lion, you are also buying a responsibility. Lions require a lot of care and attention, and they can be dangerous animals.
Before buying a lion, make sure you are prepared to take on the responsibility.