Authorities in Pattaya recently discovered a foreign individual living in a house with a lion cub. A video of the foreigner driving an open-top Bentley limousine with the lioness beside him went viral on social media, raising concerns about the animal’s welfare and legal implications.
The man would reportedly drive through Soi Phra Tamnak 5 in Pattaya with his lion cub on a regular basis. This prompted locals to express their worries about potential dangers and whether keeping a wild animal as a pet is legal. Consequently, on January 23, the authorities, including Tourist Police officers, Immigration Police, Forestry Police, and National Park Department officials, conducted an inspection of the residence located in Soi Khao Pratumnak 5, Village No. 10, Nong Prue Subdistrict, Bang Lamung District, Chonburi Province.
The house, a two-story detached property with a fenced perimeter, appeared deserted, with nobody responding at the door. A closer examination revealed that the Bentley limousine was actually a rental vehicle from Phuket province. Later on, around 7:00 p.m., the owner’s lawyer arrived to meet with the officials and provided authorization to enter the property and conduct a thorough inspection.
Inside the house, they found two animal cages: one containing the lion cub and the other housing three dogs. The lion, a four-month-old female cub, is registered in Ratchaburi province and owned by a Thai woman. The police contacted the woman for more information about the lion.
It is believed that the foreigner seen in the video is from Sri Lanka. He has arranged a meeting with officials on January 24 at the Conservation Area Administration Office 2 (Sriracha) to present the necessary documents related to the lion’s possession.
A neighbor named Ms. Rita, who resides in a nearby condo, stated that she had observed the foreigner keeping the lion for over a month. Every evening, he would take the lion and the dogs for a drive in the Bentley limousine along Dongtan-Jomtien beach.