11 July 2024

Residents of a housing estate in Pattaya have been seeking help, after their foreign neighbour purchased two lions as pets, one of which gets loose and wanders around the neighbourhood.

They have alerted the police to the presence of two big cats in Khaomakok Soi 3 in Banglamung district, but no action has been taken so far. The residents say that they believe this is because the owner of the lions is a foreigner.

The matter attracted widespread attention after a Facebook page, “Pattayawatchdog”, posted an image of a man taking a walk with a large lion on a leash.

A neighbour said that, during the New Year break, one of the lions snuck out of the house and roamed around the area, and not for the first time.

The Facebook page reported that the neighbours want the National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation Department to handle the issue, because they fear that their families and pets are at risk.

Reporters visited the house today and found two lions staying with two Rottweilers on the premises.

The owner of the house, only identified as “Pa”, 28, explained that she bought a male and a female lion from a farm when they were 45 days old.

“Now they are about ten months old. I moved from Sattahip to Pattaya about six months ago. One day, one of them escaped through a faulty electric gate which accidentally opened,” she said.

Her caretaker then rushed to get the cat back to the house, she added.

Meanwhile, “Pim”, a neighbour, said that on the day the lion got loose, she and other neighbours were so scared. “I rushed to take my children back to the house,” she said.

This is the second sighting of lions in Pattaya, after a young one was pictured taking a ride in a convertible along a crowded street.

There is reportedly a growing trend in Pattaya for people to keep lions as pets.