Rhubarb and rhetoric

DC vs. Istanbul, Round 1: Lions

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Lion. Specifically, Swedish King Frederick I’s lion.

So I was catching up on a week’s worth of DCist, because most of my Saturday mornings are spent getting my GoogleReader count under 1000, when I saw a post that stuck out a bit. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, it was about lions.

Washington, D.C.: According to DCist, citing DC law, the only animals one can legally keep as a pet in DC are domesticated dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, birds, nonpoisonous snakes, fish, turtles and racing pigeons.

So, no lions within city limits. Unless you are by some chance a zoo or a circus. And that also means the probability of being able to purchase a lion within DC city limits is pretty darn low.

Istanbul: Different country, different rules in the ‘bul. You want a lion? You can buy a lion. Downtown, no less. For Istanbul non-residents and people who didn’t click through to read about the lion found in a van during a routine traffic stop, the lion in the article was bought in Kadıköy, the main central district on the Asian side of the city.

On the one hand, I appreciate that I can be reasonably confident my neighbors aren’t harboring giant felines. On the other hand, I kind of love that you can just casually pick up a lion cub in the middle of a city of 20 million people, no big deal, just part of the daily shopping.

Winner: Istanbul

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