According to Reuters, a baker in Palestine is keeping lion cubs on his rooftop in Gaza. Naseem Abu Jamea now keeps the lions as pets after buying them from a zoo.

While the cubs are only 75 days old (and growing!), Fathy and Filisteen are now neighborhood regulars and are spotted daily. Abu Jamea underscores the risks of keeping the lions in his care. “When you raise them as babies, a harmony will grow between both of you and (they) will not hurt you,” he told Reuters, even as his nephews, brothers and neighbors all play with the cubs.

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Animal activists are not thrilled with the situation. Amir Khalil, a veterinarian who has traveled to Gaza with the animal rights group Four Paws told Reuters he was concerned, “I advise the Gaza authorities to take away those lions. At the age of six months a lion becomes more dangerous as his size gets bigger and his muscles become stronger. Raising lions at home may deprive them of health, sufficient food and medical care and may result in acute health problems. Especially to the muscles, joints and bones.”

Source: Reuters/Youtube

Hassan Azzam, director of veterinary services at Gaza’s agriculture ministry told the news outlet he would monitor the situation.

Lions and tigers should not be kept in homes or zoos or circuses. They belong in the wild. These poor animals are often taken from their mothers at a young age, which is traumatizing to them both. Once they get bigger and thus, more dangerous, they are confined to their cages more often. Living in such small, unnatural spaces can cause zoochosis and the lions’ deteriorating mental health can lead to them harming themselves as well as the people around them.

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We can do our part to protect these animals in the United States! Please sign this petition urging Congress to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

Read more below to learn about how animals are abused for entertainment and why this is extremely inhumane:

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Read more about wild animal kept as pets and why this is extremely inhumane:

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