A Tampa taco company has pulled its controversial lion meat tacos off the menu, after getting complaints and even threats from animal lovers, the Tampa Tribune reports. It's probably hard to think of the king of the jungle as "vulnerable," but that's the designation conservation groups give them—and it's just one level above endangered. In a brief note on its website, Taco Fusion said it had listened to customer feedback and decided not to keep selling lion meat. But the eatery isn't exactly repentant. "If you guys are mad now, just wait till you see what we do next," it tells the Tribune.
Taco Fusion sells all manner of exotic meats—bison, shark, ostrich, gazelle, camel, and kangaroo have all graced its menu. The lion tacos sold for $35, and have done well enough to sell out. "It tastes kind of like venison and the texture is like gator," one patron told Fox Tampa. Manager Brad Barnett tells KPLC 7 that the lion came from "approved sources" and was raised for consumption. "It is not like someone (was) pulling up in the back with a truck with a carcass from the Serengetti and saying, 'Hey I got this meat! Do you want to buy it?'" (Read more lion stories.)