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The Illegal Big Cats of Instagram

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Buying illegal wild animals in Kuwait is, as one local puts it, "as easy as acquiring a cupcake." Pets have long been used as status symbols the world over, but citizens of the Gulf take the prize when it comes to keeping the most exotic, controversial species—most commonly, "big cat" cubs. International law governing Kuwait and other Gulf states forbids the import and sale of wild animals, yet the sight of supercars being driven around with a cheetah in the front seat is starting to become commonplace on Arab Instagram feeds. Although there are legal ways to bring an animal into Kuwait, paying people off along the way is easier. Lion, cheetah, and tiger cubs are in the highest demand, fetching up to $15,000 each through black market agents. More often than not, the owners have little idea how to care for these creatures, which have no history of domestication and quickly become unmanageable—even lethal—once they're fully grown. In Big Cats of the Gulf, VICE investigates the area's flourishing trade in animal trafficking and how it impacts the depleting wildcat populations of Central and East Africa. We gain exclusive access to Kuwait's biggest Instagram star of the big cat phenomenon and hear first-hand of the deadly consequences of the business—both for the animals and their owners. Watch More on VICE: An Inside Look at the Exotic Animal Trade: http://bit.ly/1LYOuzu HBO Report on the Illicit Rhino-Horn Trade: http://bit.ly/1Cqvzav Click here to subscribe to VICE: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE Check out our full video catalog: http://bit.ly/VICE-Videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideos Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Read our Tumblr: http://vicemag.tumblr.com Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/vice
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Text Comments (7564)
Colton Clarky (31 minutes ago)
This guy us a fucking baller
CptObvious (5 hours ago)
This is how we remind ourselves of what we have been through. Motherfucker, move your ass to a 3rd world country and work your ass out of a squaterscamp without a penny in your pocket, then you have something to talk about when it comes to "what you have been through "
KaZ (7 hours ago)
Fuck you
Derpy (8 hours ago)
That fucking bastard I think he should be tortured and punished that piece of shit.
Steezy McCleansey (11 hours ago)
How cool would it be for these "pets" raging and killing them and the whole familly, I would die laughing hahaha no i'm not one of those "animal lover reatrds", just would like to see that happen
Chris Auer (21 hours ago)
don't trust a guy called swackle to keep you safe from lions
Lmao I knew something bad was going to happen according to the music later in the vid..
Dennis Bravo (1 day ago)
Imagine the conversation when he first started this up. Him : Hey I think I'm gonna try to domesticate wild animals. Friend: Cool, you gonna take lessons and shit? Him : Nah, I'm just gonna wing it.
Shadow CL (1 day ago)
That bitch had fun
omar rayas (1 day ago)
at the end of the video was she talking about the guy with the 2 lions thats she was playing with but dint want to mencion his name? he had 2 lions and one of them was pregnant???
MakeThemDead (2 days ago)
cheetas are defensive creatures? Where the fck did u learn that?
Max Downs (2 days ago)
All that wealth and you’re still stuck in the desert and life is still cheap
Krrissy Linsss (3 days ago)
oh... feel so sad for the maid :(((((
Krrissy Linsss (3 days ago)
wow........ so cruel........ and a dolphin in that tiny pool. whaaaattt?????
Jaime Palacios (3 days ago)
Jaime Palacios (3 days ago)
Horrible video
Keyz (3 days ago)
6:56 lol how the man picks him up
Zurjix (3 days ago)
these stupid durks should just blow themselves up already
J.A.S. the Future (3 days ago)
lukman khan (3 days ago)
how come this journalist can do this program while she is wearing the coat which made of leopard fur..........is it legal or illegal..... at least these guys are keeping animals and giving them good life........westerners also keep them at their captivity but they dont feed them well and mostly keeping them for collecting money from people to take care of such a beautiful animals.......... see clearly westerners and united states kill more animals in the wild for fun .called trophy hunter.........hang their skull at their home........does it seems legal.......world's wild animal population got declined by westerners and united states because of their selfishness and so called for fun........... so do not underestimate because of race.... if this is illegal then what so ever westerners and united states doing in this is clearly illegal.......... stand for justice .... honesty. dont be just a racist..........
Mister Calep (4 days ago)
Party Poopers!
ejabare (4 days ago)
I think people are confused about Swakill. He is NOT the person who was involved with the Lion & the Phillipino Worker. That being said, I believe he should also be jailed for contributing to the Wild Pet Trade with a very Steep Sentence for the Selling & Owning of Endangered and Threatened Species ( which includes Cheetahs). The containment of Dolphins in pools is particularly VERY CRUEL. Because they use ECHO-Location and sonar to function the pool causes these self sent Signals to Ricochet & Bounce around giving them very crazy information. This causes HORRIBLE STRESS and literally drives them INSANE!
Sunny Chandra (4 days ago)
It wasnt that guys lion he only has one lion the person who lion it was had two a male and female
Abraham Lincoln (4 days ago)
20:10 English mothafucka do u speak it
leigh twomey (4 days ago)
Fucking dogs
MERCENARIO AK-47 (4 days ago)
putos arabianos se ven como putas Viejas con sus vestidotes que les llegan hasta los pies WTF.. y son bien putos presumidos Jalaja Sharmuts.. and ugly sayara...
Ali Warsame (5 days ago)
Fucking hell
Ali Warsame (5 days ago)
Yet y’all don’t care about China or other Asia countries so why bother the Middle East
Ali Warsame (5 days ago)
I don’t see anything wrong
Ayoub O (5 days ago)
9:00 lmao cheetah vs doberman
Ribz X (5 days ago)
15:50 ROFL !! wearing a cheetah defending a cheetah XD
Loud Mike Productions (5 days ago)
i want one
SanDiego Perez (5 days ago)
White people's need to stf up is not your dam country's laws.
Hector Alvarado (5 days ago)
This dude is the Dog Whisperer on steroids, could make a great team and show
don dada (5 days ago)
the word instagram brought me here
cobratoxic (5 days ago)
I love animals, I have a big dog, one cat and one turtle, but I hate when people have wild animals in house, we need to save the habitat of wild animals, not bring them to your houses .
Psychopathway (7 days ago)
the ending tho..
Twisted Clown (7 days ago)
Yara Al Mohammed (8 days ago)
guys im kuwaiti and this is NOT TRUE!!!. We do not do that and this is all WRONG and FALSE!!.
Anthony Countee (8 days ago)
These niggas are crazy I'd sell my soul before you catch me with a lion
sqacebolt (8 days ago)
poor animals, what sick people
Ahmad aman (9 days ago)
from kuwait
Tanisha Holmes (9 days ago)
How are you going to put a dolphin in that little ass pool? Ugh these people are f**king idiots.
Ashik Sulficker (10 days ago)
what shameless & inappropriate thing to do. these men do this to only compensate for their ballLessness. real men pet animals in their own home-the wilderness
Missy Clark (10 days ago)
They have a real English chicken legged bird Wow! Exotic!!
avi moyal (10 days ago)
Men with a little cock
James Wagner (12 days ago)
Fuckin carpet pilots
Kiwi Feeldz (12 days ago)
These people should be put in cages and taken out to play every once and a while by sentients. Dog fighters should be forced to fight to the death in a pit.
cringy 101 (12 days ago)
She really started crying at 17:14
Moosedeer Productions (12 days ago)
5:30 you cannot domesticate a single animal you can domesticate a species but you can only tame one single animal
Spinn TV (12 days ago)
I live in East Africa and I have never seen a lion or a cheetah because we know what they truly are. If any dangerous wild animal breaks out of the wild and comes to residential areas, it's more likely that it will get killed if the authority don't act quicker
J L (12 days ago)
Fucking shitheads they don’t deserve to live I hope they eat eaten alive
HighTech Gaming (12 days ago)
May be illegal, but hey, at least their safe. Seems like the safest place that an animal like this can be, everywhere else they can be killed. Nowhere but here is safe.
LuLu Lovlie (12 days ago)
How crazy does it feel to know one of the lions that killed a human was literally laying on top of you though?! I think that would definitely cause you to believe you escaped death!!!
shubham grover (13 days ago)
Vice female reporters are shit
Emma Olivera (13 days ago)
Oh. My. God. The bastard killed them oh my god, and after all that. No, just no. Why.
Ferrit Rat (13 days ago)
Seriously think I’m watching a cheetah eat a rabbit I don’t think so we’re is viewer discretion ass holes
EZZ DEAN (14 days ago)
Always stereotyping arab world
Lord Emilous (14 days ago)
Humans.... murdering animals, causing global warming, polluting the oceans with plastics and killing most of the insects with pesticides.... and then on top of that, buying wild animals and imprisoning them in small cages for fun and status... Literally makes me sick to my stomach.
Folakemi Williams (14 days ago)
Ordering animals to your door??? What type of silly trend is this what has the world come to. I will never follow these beasts no not the animals the people.
Wolfman Jey (14 days ago)
She's just as lame as they are
Matt Connors (14 days ago)
A totally appreciate her efforts, but why is she wearing a leopard collar? 15:43
Brian Z (15 days ago)
La la la la la dirka dirka
celibatairepapillon (15 days ago)
I'm hoping swakll faked the lion killing and they're safe in a ritzy sanctuary somewhere...he really did seem to love them.
lukefukinmiller (15 days ago)
watched 3 minutes could not watch anymore ,fucking grim poor animals.
but I do not allow animals to be killed but all stupid Americans and Europeans should shut the fuck up dont worry about us worry about your self cunts
why it's illegal?
SpiritWolf (16 days ago)
We, as humans, believe us to be morally righteous. "We are not killers by nature, we save animals." But that is nowhere near true. Life and death is all a part of nature; even the movie The Lion King demonstrates this idea with the song "The Circle of Life" and that's a kids' movie. No matter how we may want to avoid the thought, humans are killers by nature; our canine teeth and digestive system are proof enough. All because, in nature, to be selfish is to survive. We slaughter cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and what-have-you for nutritional purposes. That isn't inherently wrong. What is wrong, however, is to take an animal out of the environment it evolved in and force it to live in your backyard. An environment in which it is a selfish killer from a wild, merciless world and absolutely not fit to mingle closely with humans. Even if it has a better chance to survive in captivity, there is that balance of life and death that needs to be upheld. By caging a wild animal, you are NOT saving it... you're tearing it away from the only place it truly knows how to be itself. "What about zoos?" Well, establishments such as zoos may have once smuggled in animals, or gotten captive bred animals from ones that were once smuggled but in the best cases they aren't exposed to human interaction very much and live in spacious enclosures. In the best cases, they are treated and taken care of like the wild animals they are. NOT like a prop for an "up close and personal" photo shoot. Zoos are an educational opportunity for people to see wild animals no longer capable of surviving in the wild. Meanwhile, there are dogs. You could say our ancestors that domesticated the wolf did the same thing as these men but that is incorrect. It was mutually beneficial for man and wolf to evolve alongside one another. Seemingly, dogs are the only omnivorous species without the instinct to kill. (Yes, omnivorous. Dog food doesn't only have meat in it.) TL;DR my point is, death is a part of life just as much as birth. Creatures live and die and such is the "circle of life". It is not merciful to take a perfectly capable animal from its habitat only to cage it in your backyard. You aren't a savior by pulling it away from it's home, you can't stimulate its natural instinct to hunt that way. Don't do this. Don't encourage it. Frown upon it. Protest it. This. Is. NOT. Ok. P.S. most well-established and well-funded zoos get a pass because they take in captive animals not able to survive in the wild and give them a proper and safe home while educating the public and giving the people a taste of what they would normally not experience. (I once went to an aquarium that showed off the pelt of one of their otters that had died of natural causes. Again, perfectly acceptable opportunity to educate the public.) P.P.S Dogs are innocent angels that deserve all the love in the world.
r indrazi (17 days ago)
why the cow so skinny
Winddragon777 Dog (17 days ago)
If i had a cougar or a wolf i would have a large yard and front yard and a big pool and a few trees too feel like its their natural home rather then to keep them in a small yard with a little dish of water with metal bars OR A FUCKING SMALL POOL FOR A DOLPHIN WHO NEEDS OTHER DOLPHINS AND A WIDE RANGE BUT THE OWNER CANNOT DO IT
Jin Kusanagi (17 days ago)
The most dangerous animal on the planet is the human, but we keep breeding and raising them. So much danger.ヾ(*ΦωΦ)ノ
Rodriguez thegreat (17 days ago)
If these people were white Vice would have spent 27 minutes attacking their lifestyle instead of playing with lions for 27 minutes.
Stephanie FitzSimon (17 days ago)
Couldn't have Vice put another journalist on this one? Not saying that she did a bad job, quite the contrary, it was well made except for one criticism. I can see how some might see how it was meant in a playful way - her approach for the first time to the lion - but when she went to actually went to pet the adult lion at 23:08, to be honest I kept wishing in my head that she would shut up for her own safety's sake; Her approach of cooing at the animal and saying all those things, I mean a little at first seems maybe okay but like I could basically smell her nervousness through the screen, and she just continued doing that to it. Animals can smell fear, I'm trying to understand why she thought behaving like that would be smart. I'm not suggesting she should have stayed silent but I just wish this story could have been covered by a journalist who, when given the opportunity to approach a wild animal like that (even domesticated), could have interacted in the situation with more seriousness. No offense meant towards Charlet Duboc.
Holyfox (17 days ago)
I can’t watch this. Muslim culture at it finest.
Ajmalkk Aju (17 days ago)
Animal abuse happening everywhere in the world why your so Called America couldn’t bann the festival of rattle snakes hunting you Hippocrates always looks into Asian
Justin Moore (18 days ago)
deadboy down (18 days ago)
What a bunch of ass holes bro you know what would be better than a cat a lion fuk these guys
lonnielrc (18 days ago)
muadhnate (18 days ago)
Bullshit. If want the pet, take all the responsibility that comes with it. Coward.
LiSa MaRiE (18 days ago)
I would blow everyone of their heads off and enjoy doing it!!!! I hope they get murdered or die of a agonizing long illness!!!!!!
Matthew Israil (18 days ago)
She lowkey had fun
exo jongdee (18 days ago)
Oh snap that reporter could’ve been mauled
Thomas The dank engine (10 days ago)
I knowwwww even the dude was trying so hard to pull the lion off of her.
Greg (19 days ago)
stop supporting assholes
Vasiliosaurus (19 days ago)
I will find the men behind all of this and kill them in cold blood
Rohit Nag (20 days ago)
Karma's a bitch. This soab will pay for what he did, in this life or the next.
I hate people like that DOGSHIT
Greg 69 (21 days ago)
Y’all got no identity
Natalie O'Brien (21 days ago)
please god, if youre up there, dont let this fool get a smart ass dolphin :,(
3AZRAIELL (21 days ago)
25:00 can any one help me withe the name of the instrumental in the 25:00
Jaeger The Great (21 days ago)
I don't know how old the male lion is but he doesn't look super great. A good indication of health in male lions is mane color. A happy, healthy lion should have a full, dark mane.
Shania Williams (22 days ago)
That bitch is dumb that lion wanted to eat your stupid ass at 24:00. She was SUPER annoying.
Nicole Rogers (22 days ago)
I hope the Mama wasn’t still pregnant 💔 sooooo disgusting.
imm0rtalOG (22 days ago)
he should burn in hell for killing his lions
Riley Frankenbush (22 days ago)
I bet you ten lions this lady slept with this dude. Just a hunch.
Pe Painville (22 days ago)
Moh (22 days ago)
I like seeing all the people acting pissed off about it How about you talk about the more widespread and socially accepted problem, ZOOS.
vetshee (23 days ago)
Can we bomb them now?
vetshee (23 days ago)
Can we bomb them now?

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