Inside Toronto reported the Toronto Animal Services were called in to investigate after photos of patrons in a downtown club posing with a lion cub surfaced on Instagram.
Animal Justice, a leading animal protection advocacy group, made the request of Animal Services on Friday, August, 5 after being shown the photos taken at Lavelle, a King West lounge and French eatery with a rooftop patio.
“In Toronto, it’s illegal to possess exotic animals such as lion cubs, particularly so when they’re being used for promotional purposes,” said Animal Justice executive director Camille Labchuk.
“It’s all too common for baby animals to be taken away from their mothers at an early age to habituate them to people.” Labchuk said she had seen a total of five photos taken with the lion cub.
A Lavelle employee who identified herself only as Charisse said the club was not responsible for bringing the lion cub onto the premises and said staff there were looking into the matter.