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Lions and tigers 'kept as pet cats'

Tuesday May 24th 2016

Cats of a larger and more predatory variety than the bog-standard moggy lurk beyond the front doors of homes around Britain, new figures indicate.

Two lions, 13 tigers, eight leopards, nine pumas and seven cheetahs are among the dangerous animals licensed to be kept at private addresses across Britain.

The revelation follows a Press Association Freedom of Information request to local councils. The list also includes many poisonous snakes, such as 300-plus killer cobras, rattlesnakes and vipers.

Nine crocodiles, 10 alligators, wolves, zebras, monkeys and bison are also being kept. But the revelations have sparked concern from the RSPCA.

It says that the onus of such licences seems to be less on animal welfare than protecting people. A charity spokeswoman is urging people who plan to keep dangerous animals to do their homework first and think twice before committing.

She says that the novelty can soon wear off for many keepers. So they should do research as to whether their intended exotic animals would make appropriate pets.

Copyright Press Association 2016