Turkish cafe slammed for displaying exotic animals as side show
A cafe in Istanbul has been slammed by animal rights activists for exhibiting exotic animals, including a lion and a crocodile, as a side show.
The cafe in the city’s Beykoz district has been angrily denounced on social media over the past week for giving its customers not only coffee, tea and waterpipes, but also the option to watch exotic animals behind glass walls.
The one-year-old lion is on display for customers in a bare, narrow area behind a glass wall.
“I am Lion Khalessi and I was born in a zoo in Antalya. My biological parents left me for dead and my real father is a human, who is the owner of this rehabilitation center. I have a huge cage below but I sometimes come up here to see you,” reads a placard on the wall.
Following reactions on social media who notified authorities over animal abuse and cruelty, Nature Protection and National Parks Directorate officials in Istanbul inspected the cafe on July 4.
According to Turkish media reports, officials said the cafe had all the required permits to keep the animals, as it was designed merely as a display window for the zoo downstairs.
Animal rights activists, who were not satisfied with the initial findings of authorities, have launched an online campaign to shut down the cafe for using enslaved animals to advertise a cafe with commercial intentions.