Home Animals How Much Does a Lion Cost? It’s Definitely Not Cheap!

How Much Does a Lion Cost? It’s Definitely Not Cheap!

What Eats Lions

If you’re a fan of The Lion King and have been considering owning a lion as a pet, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before moving forward. For starters, let’s talk about the cost. Adult lions range anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, with the rare white lions costing up to $140,000. 

Lion cubs, on the other hand, are slightly cheaper, ranging from $1,600 to $15,000. Before you start dreaming of cuddling with a lion, it’s important to do your research and understand the responsibilities that come with owning such a large and wild animal. 

This guide will help you navigate through all the factors you need to consider before you decide if owning a lion is right for you. It’s important to note that the following expense is just the starting point and does not incorporate insurance fees or the expenditures associated with raising lions. Continue reading to discover further details.

 How Much Does a Lion Cost

Can You Buy a Lion?

Owning a lion may seem like a thrilling idea, but it’s important to remember that these majestic creatures require a great deal of work and care. While anyone with a bank balance and experience in handling exotic cats can technically own a lion, it’s crucial to understand the responsibility that comes with it. 

After all, you’re not just bringing home a cute little kitten – you’re inviting the Jungle King into your life. From providing proper nutrition to ensuring they have enough space to roam, owning a lion requires a deep commitment to their well-being.

No matter how much we may love Simba and Mufasa, owning a lion as a pet is not exactly legal or easy in the US. Given the state’s belief that any activity that puts citizens’ lives in danger should be outlawed, bizarre pet ownership is banned in 21 states, and lions happen to be among the creatures on that list. 

But before you give up on your dream of having a big cat as a furry companion, there is hope. If you reside in one of the states where it’s still legal, you may have a chance of owning a lion.

  • Alabama
  • Nevada
  • South California
  • Wisconsin
  • North California
  • Montana
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania

The prospect of owning an exotic pet like a big cat in the UK might sound tempting, given the flexibility offered by the government. However, it’s important to note that owning such animals requires a license from the state, which must be produced by officials before you can get your hands on a lion or any other big cat. 

While the idea of having your very own big cat might seem alluring, it’s important to follow the rules to avoid severe consequences. Besides, the place where you intend to keep the animal must be private and under your name.

Where Can You Buy a Lion?

Buying exotic wild cats like lions is not a task for the faint-hearted or unprepared. While buying domestic cats or dogs may be as simple as visiting a local pet store, acquiring an exotic wild cat requires more research and preparation. Due to their high price, owning a lion is a significant investment; therefore, there are only a limited number of licensed vendors. 

If you want to buy a lion, you’ll have to visit marketplaces that permit the ownership of these exotic animals. Alternatively, the online marketplace offers a more convenient way to acquire a lion from the comfort of your home. With the variety of age options available, all you need is to present your license and other documents, and the vendor will guide you through the required process.

Do Lions Eat Other Lions

Do Lions Make Good Pets?

You may have seen the viral videos on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook where lions affectionately lick their owners, cuddle with them, and form an unbreakable bond. I must admit, even I was momentarily tempted to acquire a lion after watching those clips! However, the question remains: can lions truly be domesticated and make good pets?

The truth is that lions are wild animals and the kings of the jungle. Despite our best efforts to shower them with love, care, and attention, their wild instincts can never be fully suppressed. If you raise a lion from a young age and provide proper training, they may view you as a pack member. However, if you mistreat them or make them feel threatened, they will attack you, even if you are their owner.

Before being inspired by online videos and impulsively deciding to bring home a lion, it’s crucial to understand their nature and receive proper training to develop a strong bond with them. To learn more about the subject, I have written a comprehensive article on lions as pets.

How Much Does a Lion Cost?

Now that we know it is legal to own a lion and where to buy one, let’s delve into the question of how much it will cost you. Well, be prepared to fork over an initial one-time cost starting at $5,000 and potentially climbing even higher for rarer breeds. 

That’s not all though – in addition to the purchase price, you may be required to obtain insurance and a license for your new pet. Insurance is mandatory in some states to ensure the safety of citizens and can cost between $200-300 annually. 

Lioness with cubs running around in the jungle.

How Much Does a Baby Lion Cost?

Owning a lion as a pet may seem like a wild, impossible dream for many people, but for those who are damn serious about it, acquiring a baby lion is the best way to start. Not only will you be able to train your lion the way you want him to behave, but you can also develop a lifetime bond with your big, furry friend. 

Of course, owning a baby lion will come at a cost, with rates ranging from $1,600 to $15,000, depending on the breed you choose. Speaking of breed, you’ll want to do your research to ensure you select the lion that best fits your lifestyle and personality.

  • Masai lion
  • Asiatic lion
  • Katanga lion
  • Abyssinian lion
  • African lion
  • White lion

How Much Does a White Lion Cost?

Have you ever laid your eyes on a white lion? If not, you’re missing out on one of the most magnificent creatures on earth. Their white fur alone is enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and stare in amazement. It’s no wonder why they’re the rarest and most expensive breed in the world. 

The first white lion sighting was over 80 years ago in South Africa, yet their allure continues to captivate us to this day. Experts believe their unique colour is due to a gene mutation, but regardless of the reason, they are simply stunning. However, if owning one is your dream, be prepared to spend a pretty penny. With a price tag of $280,000 for a pair, white lions don’t come cheap.  


What is the price of a lion?

The price of a lion can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the age, gender, and species of the lion. Additionally, regulations and permits add another layer of complexity to the equation. While it’s certainly not advisable, owning a lion could potentially cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars in initial fees, with additional costs for food, veterinary care, and enclosures. 

Can I have a lion as a pet?

The thought of keeping a lion as a pet might sound thrilling and exotic, but the reality is far from it. Lions are wild animals that require a natural habitat, specialized care, and a lot of space to roam. In addition to the logistical challenges, owning a lion can also be dangerous and illegal in many places. As fascinating as they may seem, lions are not meant to be kept as pets. 

How much does a white lion cost?

The price of a white lion can vary greatly, depending on the breeder and their location. In general, a white lion can cost anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000.

Final Words

From the necessary permits and licenses to the proper facilities and care, you’ll learn everything you need to know to own and care for a lion as a pet. However, it’s important to note that owning such a magnificent and powerful animal requires a significant investment of time, resources, and attention. But for those who truly love and appreciate these magnificent creatures, the experience will undoubtedly be worth it. 


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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.

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A motivated philosophy graduate and student of wildlife conservation with a deep interest in human-wildlife relationships, including wildlife communication, environmental education, and conservation anthropology. Offers strong interpersonal, research, writing, and creativity skills.


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