An Iraqi man has been keeping a lion at home as a companion for a year now since he adopted him when he was just 10 days old.
The big cat is called “Simpa” by his owner, Ahmed al-Hayyali, who lives in Mousul province.
Ahmed has adopted many animals since his childhood including cats, dogs, birds — but a lion is the wildest of all.
Simpa is a wild-born African lion who feeds on 10 kilograms of chicken every day on a single meal.
Ahmed feeds the wild animal by hand and says taking care of him is not a big issue.
He is known to be the only resident in Mousul who has a pet lion, and thus his friends and relatives are quite interested in Simpa, Ahmed tells.
However, he adds, the upcoming years may be more difficult as Simpa will need special training to be domesticated.
Adopting wild animals is not widespread — and not legal in every country — but it seems to be a growing trend among the wealthy.