Photo Of Lion Chilling In Siġġiewi Sparks Mass Confusion
And it turns out the lion was just the tip of the iceberg
You can never really know what you're going to see on the streets of Malta. One woman can definitely testify to that after she spotted an actual adult lion peeping over a rubble wall in Siġġiewi. After she posted a photo on popular animal-lover Facebook forum RUBS Puppy Love, what followed was a slew of comments. Eventually, the real reason behind the photo was brought to attention, and it turns out the lion is just the beginning.
Many people criticised the person responsible of the caged animal, saying this wasn't your everyday domestic cat. Some residents even joined the conversation, saying they had heard very loud purring and even strange roars coming from the area. Others, however, came to the owner's defence. They explained that this was actually not a zoo, but a private property, and that the animals there are treated with love and have more than enough space to roam around.
Yes, you read that right; animals.
Soon enough, the owner himself joined the conversation, helping to shed more light on the situation.
"That's the way they need to be in Malta for safety reasons," he said, sharing even more photos from his one private paradise. Soon enough, photos of lions, tigers and pumas started coming in, and the full expanse of the private collection in the limits of Siġġiewi came to life.
The man's family and friends quickly joined in, posting photos of their own. Some featured the large cats lazying around the property, while others even had the family interacting with the animals.
"You can go report to Animal Welfare as much as you want, they know about the animals and we love them the same way you'd love a dog or a cat," one of the family members told people threatening to report the whole thing.
While it is illegal to keep dangerous animals in anywhere other than a licensed zoo, an exception applies to animals which were imported to Malta prior to the 2016 law stipulating it. Licensed private premises (and animals) need to be kept up to standard and are frequently inspected.