Arizonans Upset Over $21 Lion Burgers. Wait, What? Lion Burgers?

This morning I saw a news story in a tawdry tabloid that I read (just for fun, I swear!) about some restaurant in Arizona that was serving lion burgers and getting the meat from a “free-range farm in Illinois.” A free-range lion farm? Ha-ha, I thought. People who edit tabloids sure are gullible and dumb.

But now slightly more credible news outlets — like, the Associated Press — are reporting lion burgers are a “thing” and Il Vinaio restaurant in Mesa, Arizona, is serving burgers made from African lion meat in honor of the World Cup. (Because nothing says “let’s hear it for Africa” like eating their wild animals?) The lion meat is purchased from a USDA-regulated free-range lion farm in Illinois and 18 burgers have been pre-sold for $21 a pop. The restaurant is getting tons of emails, calls, and even a bomb threat in protest.

African lions are on the protected list, but not the endangered list. (At least, not yet.) Isn’t “protected” like “almost endangered”? What kind of person eats an almost endangered animal with ketchup, mustard on a toasted bun? [KPHO]