UK Man Granted Permission To Keep Two Lions At His Home
A man has been granted permission to keep two lions at his home, despite some objections from neighbours.
He paid to have the animals shipped to the UK and put them in an enclosure in the grounds of his home, which already housed a puma named Rogue.
However, he was told by Broxtowe Borough Council that he would need to apply for permission if he wanted to keep them on the land behind his house, which was previously used as a stable yard.
Reece, a show-jumper, says he is licenced to keep wild animals, adding that he wasn't aware he had to apply for permission for the enclosure.
After submitting his application, 14 of his neighbours objected - with some concerned about the welfare of their own pets - and planners recommended that the planning committee from the council reject his plans, partly due to the fact the enclosure was on green belt land.
Despite being heartbroken by the news, Reece refused to give up, claiming that the lion cubs would need to be put to sleep if he wasn't granted planning permission.
Speaking the day before the vote was held, he said: "They are like my own kids. I've had them since they were babies and I have brought them up. I wouldn't want to give them up for the world.
"It's more than likely they will be put down if it's turned down. It would be devastating.
"It would be terrible - crushing - if I don't get the permission.
"It would be like someone taking my children away from me."
The committee heard that the purpose-built enclosure was 'larger than most zoos', allowing the cats plenty of freedom.
Last night (Thursday 27 June) the committee voted, and it was ruled that Reece could keep his big cats by a vote of seven to five.
Speaking after the decision was made, Reece told Nottingham Live: "It's the best feeling in the world, it's the best result ever.
"It's aged me though. These last few weeks have been extremely stressful, but I know those animals would have had to have been put down."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS