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5 Shocking At-Risk Species Still on U.S. Menus

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1. African Lions

“Every summer, some chef somewhere comes up with the idea of serving lion tacos or lion burgers,” said zoologist Teresa Telecky, director of wildlife at Human Society International in Washington, D.C.

In the last few years, lion meat has shown up on menus from California to Kansas. And even though lion burgers often spark outrage among the public, it’s not illegal for chefs to buy, cook, or sell the meat.

For now, lions are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN — a step below endangered and two steps below critically endangered. That status hasn’t been reviewed in years, Telecky said, even though lion numbers have dropped by 50 percent in the last two or three decades. The top predators now occupy just 25 percent of their original habitat.

“If a restaurant owner wakes up one day and says, ‘I know how to boost sales,’” Telecky said, he can “legally order lion meat from any exotic meat dealer.”

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93 comments

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3:01PM PST on Feb 5, 2013

good to know i pinned it

12:37PM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

TURTLES?! LIONS?! what are people THINKING?

7:57PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

just plain sickening!

3:57AM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

Why not just be vegetarian??? Save the planet and save your health.

10:20AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

humans are disgusting. sad to be part of a species that has absolutely no respect and no regard for other living beings. disgraceful. being vegetarian is more healthy,

6:49PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

I have another reason why I won't eat seafood. I could never eat random wild animals, since I'm not sure if they are endangered or not.

1:36PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

I understand more and more why people become vegetarians. It's disgusting to think of what people will eat and what restaurants will serve.

7:56AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Who would eat lion!!

4:18PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Upsetting but informative article, thanks. I hope turtle and shark will be outlawed soon.

@ wchi w: "People should have been boycotting sushi since a long time now!"

Boycotting sushi? It depends on what sushi is it. "People shall boycott all sushi" is a pretty ignorant thing to say. Let me guess, you are vegan? Where exactly does this article mentions the need to "boycott sushi"? Maybe you meant "boycotting tuna sushi", as some species of Tuna are endangered. In fact, I stopped eating tuna sushi a long time ago, and only eat adult tinned tuna from certified friend-of-the-sea brands.

11:12AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

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