No lyin': A lion was just lyin' around in Eden Prairie


A lion brought in from Montana for a Burnsville church "Lion and the Lamb" Easter service never got its chance to perform.

But the 535-pound cat named Mustafa did raise a few eyebrows in an Eden Prairie neighborhood yard, where it was kept during a five-day Minnesota stay.

The domesticated lion, which travels with a trainer, is routinely used in video and photo shoots. The beast is owned by Animals of Montana, which notes that Mustafa is laid back and relaxed much of the time, but he does have "a frisky side."

Discover Church in Burnsville had planned to use the lion to make its Easter service a little more "memorable," Pastor Jordan Fleig told KSTP.

The Animals of Montana obtained an exhibition permit from the state's Department of Natural Resources, but the church hit a snag when the city of Burnsville said the cat did not have a special city permit necessary to be a part of the performance, FOX 9 reports.

"A lot of planning goes into these types of big events, and we thought we had all our ducks in a row, but we missed one little permit," Fleig told FOX. "So, we're going to be working with the city once again for next year."

Arrangements were made to keep the lion at a house in Eden Prairie, where temporary, above-ground electric fence was installed. Eden Prairie animal control approved the setup, and there were no complaints or incidents, FOX reported. Next-door neighbor Donna Stokke told KSTP it was a "wonderful experience."


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