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The Price of a Lion Cub

Lion Cub Pet

Owning a unique animal, such as a lion, is rather typical in America and many people have had the chance to raise a lion cub as a family pet. You are very likely to need a license to own a lion, depending on the state in which you live, which means you won’t be able to just get one from your local rescue center and make it your pet. But then another question arises: How much does a lion cost?

How Much Does a Lion Cub Cost?

A lion cub is likely going to cost somewhere between $1,500 to as much as $15,000. However, depending on how rare the lion cub is, its price can easily reach $140,000, especially for really rare breeds like the white lion. So the rarer its breed is, the higher the costs will get.

There are a lot of exotic animal marketplaces online and browsing through most of them got us ads for lion cubs that were usually priced between $600 and $3,000.

Of course, as you might expect, you will have to ensure that your state laws enable you to own a unique animal like this. And even if you are allowed to keep one as your pet, you will still have to get licensing from the right agency or institution, typically the Department of Wildlife and Rescue or something similar.

You need to show to the state institution that you can take care of and safely enclose your possibly dangerous animal from hurting your neighbors, your family, and even yourself. This is the challenging part of getting the license. In many cases, you might need to work with an expert zookeeper to care for their animal lion cub before you can get the license.

The Big Cat Rescue, situated in Tampa, Florida, states that the typical lion cub can cost $2,500, however, aside from this fee, the site also notes that you should be prepared to invest nearly $22,000+ in just the first year for a lion cub that is small to average in size.

How Much Does a Bigger Lion Cost?

The price of a Lion that’s in its adolescence age will be somewhere between $5,000 and $25,000, although, just like in the case of cubs, a white lion can set you back $140,000. The more unique the specimen and the rarer the bred, the more it is going to cost.

If you don’t have the necessary funds to buy a lion, you can also consider renting one. The cost to rent a lion will be somewhere between $100 and $1,00 per hour.

Lions are usually rented out by some specific companies for movies or other entertainment gigs, and renting one will require you to sign a lot of papers, get a lot of approvals, and spend a lot of money, of course. The process of renting wild animals is only approved in ten US states. Among them, states like Oklahoma and Delaware don’t ban this practice and have laws to regulate it, while Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Alabama don’t have any laws regarding the owning and keeping of dangerous animals like lions.

What are the additional costs to consider?

Before getting this big cat, you will need to get both federal and state authorizations. You will require state and federal authorizations. These licenses can cost you well over $200 annually.

The state and federal institutions will also require that you get liability insurance coverage, and this kind of insurance coverage can cost you $1,000 to $15,000 a year depending on the insurance plan you’re opting for. There is a reason for needing this policy and it all comes down to protecting you from claims and other legal concerns in the event that your lion will attack and/or hurt people. Remember that it can be extremely difficult to find a trusted insurer to offer you a decent plan.

Obviously, you will need to purchase a cage, feed the pet with a top-quality protein diet plan, and take care of its health as it grows, which will substantially contribute to the animal’s costs. Premium food and vitamins will cost you $1,000+ each year and a lot more as it grows. When getting a cage, you should look for one that is at the very least 10 feet high and 15 feet deep, while its width should be at least 20 feet.

Yearly vaccinations and other routine or unexpected visits to the vet have to be taken into account too. Much like a family pet, the expenses can quickly reach into the thousands if the cub were to require medical attention. At the same time, unlike a family pet, a specialized veterinarian will have to visit your home because it will be risky to take a lion to a regional veterinarian’s workplace.

Deworming your cub monthly can cost you around $45 to $70, and the expected costs related to flea prevention will vary from $100 to $250 a year, depending on the size of your pet.

You can also find out the cost of other interesting animals, like a falcon, a penguin, or a squirrel.

A stainless-steel travel cage, that can hold your lion cub at its biggest weight, can cost around $250 to $2,500 depending mostly on its size.

If you have to carry your lion for any reason, a strong van and a forklift will be needed to move it from one place to another.

At the same time, many states have very different cage requirements and very different standards. Some states will tell you that you have to have no less than 5 acres, for example. If you do not have the acreage, then you might have to go out looking for a big chunk of land.

Tips to keep in mind

Lion Cub PriceThe typical lion cub can live 10 to 22 years, and cubs, usually, can mature to 130 inches long and can weigh approximately 700 pounds. Lions will mature at 2 years old.

A lot of state and federal policies require that you have a boundary fence that is at least 8 feet high on a minimum of 5 acres.

Not all veterinarians will be able to take care of your lion. In reality, it might be rather tough to find one in your neighborhood that wants to work on a lion’s health. Be sure you look for one before you buy a lion cub.

The Captive Wildlife Safety Act was released and passed in the United States Legislature in 2004 to attend to the issues of accessibility to wild felines as animals. This Act restricts the interstate and foreign trade of exotic felines, like lions, jaguars, cheetahs, leopards, tigers, and cougars for the animal trade. Circuses, wildlife rehabilitators, zoos, and some other certified centers are exempt.

This legislation was released with the sole function of making these huge felines not available to the animal trade, although it is not a straight-out restriction on ownership. Specialists approximate that there are around 10,000 to 15,000 lions now kept as pets or in personal centers in the United States. As a perspective, it is approximated that there are about 5,000 left in the wild.

Lion cubs are typically bought through exotic animal auctions or from private sellers and breeders.

Alec Pow
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