Lion meat still on the menu, causing uproar - FOX 13 News

Lion meat still on the menu, causing uproar

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Lion meat is still on the menu at a Tampa taco joint.

In fact, business is heating up at Taco Fusion, and so is the controversy.

The small Mexican restaurant has gotten national exposure for offering the exotic meat.

Thursday afternoon, the restaurant was swamped with customers. Taco Fusion says it's seeing a definite spike in business.

They sold 44 lion-meat tacos in one day.

A single lion taco costs $35.

The restaurant is also weathering some backlash from the menu item. Manager Brad Barnett said they've received multiple threats, and they've brought in around-the-clock security to protect employees.

Initially, Taco Fusion debated whether the lion tacos were worth the headache. But following Thursday's crowds, they're keeping lion on the menu, despite the controversy.


 EARLIER: We did a text poll and asked, would you try lion meat?
42% said YES
58% said NO


Barnett said threats won't stop them from serving something their customers want.

"If someone wants to come down and have a conversation, I'm here all day. But calling over the phone, threatening to kill our cashier, threatening bodily harm, that they're going to burn the building down, so forth and so on, it just doesn't make sense to a normal person," he said.

While you're probably not going to find lion meat in the grocery aisle, it's actually much easier to get then you'd imagine. There are lion harvesting farms in the U.S.; Taco Fusion uses a distributor called ExoticMeatMarkets.com, based out of California.

"Everything I do is 100 percent legal. Nothing's illegal. I don't harvest any endangered species. The way I'm offering these animals helps the animals in the wild, because there's less poaching," ExoticMeatMarkets.com owner Anshu Pathak said over the phone Thursday.

The lion meat is extremely expensive. It normally runs about $220 per pound.

Taco Fusion says it's running low on the inventory following this explosion of controversy and interest.

They're still on the fence on whether they'll order it again, but they say if there's a demand, they will keep it on the menu.

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PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

Lion meat tacos, with a side of controversy:

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/22197841/2013/05/08/lion-meat-tacos-controversy

 

 

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