Lion Cub Found at Café in Rassada, Seized by Authorities

Rassada –

An unlicensed lion cub found at a café in Rassada belongs to a Chinese national, say Thai police.

The Phuket City Police Chief Colonel Pratueng Phonmana told the Phuket Express on Wednesday (February 14th) that photos of a lion cub at a café in Rassada have gone viral on social media this week. Police inspected the café on the Rassada Nusorn Road but the lion cub was not initially found.

The owner of the café was identified only as Ms. Cherngmin, 31, a Chinese national. She told police that she is the owner of the lion cub which she bought from a company in Bangkok for 250,000 baht and which she occasionally brought to the cafe for customers to see. She took police to her room at a hotel nearby where the lion cub was found.

She was unable to present the lion’s legal license and there were also disputes over required microchip paperwork. She was taken to the Phuket City Police Station to face charges of not reporting wildlife possession to relevant officers. The lion cub was seized and will be safely taken to a wildlife preservation area while the proper ownership and paperwork is dealt with legally.

Lions in Thailand have recently been a major story issue, with concerns risen after a foreign man in Pattaya went viral for driving an expensive convertible around the city with the lion inside.

Since that incident, which we linked below, there have been a number of seizures and inspections on lions in Thailand. Lions are legal to be privately owned in Thailand but require extensive paperwork and a proper home environment. Allowing them to be in cafes or living in small homes in suburbs or driving in convertibles is not appropriate, said Thai officials, who are currently inspecting the homes of legal lion owners across the country to make sure the environment is appropriate for the animals.

Related article:

The Bentley sedan that was being driven around Pattaya with a lion cub in the passenger seat was originally registered in Phuket.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Phuket Express, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.