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Wichita chef pulls lion from menu


August 10, 2012|By Dave Roberts | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(WICHITA, Kan.) — A Wichita Chef says after all of the concern raised about an upcoming exotic meat event, he's pulling African lion from the menu.

Eyewitness News first told you about the issue Thursday.  Taste and See Chef Jason Febres says after seeing all of the concern from the public, he'll no longer make lion.

"After careful consideration, we have decided to remove the Lion from our Ultimate Dining Experience. We wish to note that the small percentage of people who genuinely and intelligently plead their case was what persuaded us to reconsider, and we are not submitting to the threats, vulgarities, pressure or blatant disregard for our rights through the expression of yours, but rather to the few voices of reason. As to the supporters for our restaurant, this event, and our position on the matter, we whole heartedly appreciate the continued backing and hope you respect our decision."  Ownership Team - Taste & See


Febres still continue with what he calls an ultimate dining experience next week.  He'll serve seven exotic meats including crocodile, alpaca, kangaroo and foie gras.

"It's a special dining experience for people," Febres explained. "For people to just try something else that they haven't had a chance to eat."

Originally the menu included lion which prompted dozens of people to post negative comments on the Taste and See Facebook page and Twitter.  They wanted the chef to cancel the event.  

"If I knew that was going to happen, I definitely would have not done it, I don't think," Febres said.

Eyewitness News received several calls to the newsroom concerned about the dinner.  And organizations including and Born Free USA have asked their followers to protest the event.

"We don't know where these animals are coming from, they could be from the wild, they could be from captive situations in the U.S." said Adam Roberts of the animal rights group, Born Free U.S.A.

None of the animals on the menu, including lion, are on the Endangered Species List.  Febres says the lion meat would have come from a farm in the United States.

Many of the concerned citizens say either way, serving lion meat sets a bad example since lion numbers are declining.

"Serving up species already threatened by everything man can throw at them?  You can't be that delusional. I absolutely adore adventurous and unique culinary experiences, but not this way," Alexandra Bowens Mason posted on Facebook.

All posts on Facebook pertaining to lion being served have been removed from Taste and See's Facebook page because of the controversy. Febres says the event will not be canceled, and he's planning an all vegan event sometime in the future.

Lion Meat Controversy.
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