Justin Bieber Cuddles Lion Cub, Draws more Ire from PETA

By Hayden Wright

Justin Bieber is on thin ice with animal protection groups once once again after posing with a baby lion for an Instagram photo. The lion, named Alex, belongs to Alex Haditaghi, a self-described animal sanctuary developer in Canada.

“After being fed by Justin Bieber, Alex is one of his biggest fans!” wrote Haditaghi. “Justin really cares about the conservation of these beautiful animals! He is truly a class act and awesome guy!”

Related: Animal Rights Advocates Slam Justin Bieber for Wanting Another Monkey

The images of Bieber shirtlessly holding the cub quickly went viral. While fans were impressed, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called on the pop star to say “sorry.” They did some digging and made allegations about Haditaghi, who they claim faces animal welfare charges. Earlier this month, Bieber connected with a different zoo owner who was charged with five counts of animal cruelty in Canada.

“Justin Bieber poses with lion cub after posing with animals from zoo whose owner faces cruelty charges,” tweeted the advocacy group. “This is cruelty, not conservation, and it’s time for @justinbieber to say ‘sorry’ for endorsing the sleazy exotic-animals trade.”

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