Dining on the Wild Side: Florida Restaurant Pulls Lion Tacos from Its Menu

A Tampa, Fla. restaurant has pulled lion meat tacos off its menu after receiving significant backlash online and from animal activists.

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How about some fish tacos?

A Tampa, Fla. restaurant has pulled lion-meat tacos off its menu after receiving significant backlash online and from animal activists. Taco Fusion, which recently opened its doors this year, sold the specially-made taco for $35.

According to the Tampa Tribune, owner Ryan Gougeon only began serving the new menu item a few days ago, but it didn’t take long for word to catch on. Gougeon said he began receiving threats online after he put it on the menu.

(MOREOut of His Comfort Zone: Florida Man Living with Lions for 30 Days)

While selling or importing lion meat isn’t illegal, lions are listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s list of threatened species, just one step short of being endangered.

Taco Fusion acknowledged its decision to pull the lion taco online:

Thank you all for the feedback regarding the lion meat promotion at Taco Fusion. Some of you were supportive, some of you were angry. We listened to everyone and decided to no longer carry lion. The lion meat is sold out and we do not plan to carry it again.

(MOREFarmers vs. Lions: A Battle to the Death in Kenya)

The restaurant’s specialty involves serving atypical game meats such as ostrich, bison, rattler, yak and reindeer. The Tampa Tribune reports that even zebra meat may even make it onto the restaurant’s repertoire.

Meanwhile, if you were curious about trying one, we’re sorry to disappoint. How about something a little less controversial on the menu, like a lobster taco?


People tick me off with their fickleness. They will eat cute dear, baby cow and even drink coffee from which beans were shat out by a civet but they throw a fit over lion meat and that Japan has whale as a food source. Really?! I'd try lion. Heck I've had horse, whale, kangaroo and dolphin. I am human and I eat what I like. I get over the cute factor real quick when my stomach says it is hungry. Add turtle to the list.



Not sure whether you're trolling or are an actual person who earnestly typed those words out, intentionally in that sequence? Either way, I suppose it wouldn't hurt for you to read this.

The uproar doesn't stem from your belief that lions have a so called "cute factor", it stems from the problematic fact that the African Lion is a vulnerable / endangered species. As in, the entire African Lion population may soon be in danger of extinction... extinction means that something is in the state or process of ceasing to exist. Do you understand?

Didn't you take the time to READ the article you've made a concerted effort to comment under? How do you know that the people who have petitioned even eat meat? Did you not consider that many of those people may be vegetarians or vegans, fighting for a cause they regard as important? How is it possible to deem them as fickle then? 

Your comment is unnerving and impetuous. I can't even with you.

Perhaps animals can't rationalise or reason exactly like us and perhaps compassion for others is not instinctual the way it is for humans, this doesn't mean that they don't suffer. Animals feel pain and fear the way we feel pain and fear - how can you, as a conscious being with the ability to reason, consume another animal knowing that it has suffered a great deal or that it's species is in mortal peril? I just don't understand.

Also, do you feel like an adventurous and accomplished human after having eaten portions of horse, whale, kangaroo, turtle and dolphin carcasses? Does it make you feel good that, after years of evolution, when your stomach says it's hungry, you revert back to a devolved sack of flesh and lose all sense of compassion? 

You sir, are an idiot. 

I hope someone who likes you, kills you, cooks you and then eats you unceremoniously on a taco shell.