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Justin Bieber poses with lion cub after Bengal tiger drama

Justin Bieber has proved he "really cares" about wild cats.

The 22-year-old singer hit headlines last month (Apr16) when he posed with a Bengal tiger at his dad Jeremy's engagement party. The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were quick to release a statement slamming the Sorry singer for his actions, saying: "Exotic animals used for entertainment are usually torn away from their mothers at a young age, beaten into submission by trainers, and forced to live in cramped enclosures."


However, before his concert in Toronto, Canada, on Wednesday (18May16), Justin was again pictured playing with an exotic animal, Alex the Lion - a white lion cub owned by millionaire entrepreneur Alex Haditaghi.


Alex shared a video of the singer with his lion, writing: "After being fed by Justin Beiber (sic), Alex is one of JB's biggest fans! Justin really cares about the conservation of these beautiful animals! He is truly a class act and awesome guy!"


Wednesday wasn't the first time Justin has met Alex the Lion - he and his owner were also present at the engagement party where the singer posed with the tiger.


After Justin's picture emerged with the tiger, a petition was launched urging the singer to publicly apologise for his actions and make a big cash donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help officials in their efforts to double the tiger population by 2022.


The Care2 petition garnered over 2,200 signatures in less than two and a half hours, and is now up over 48,000.


"My hope is that Justin Bieber just didn't know how awful animals like this tiger are treated and that once we alert him to it, he will do the right thing and apologize as well as donate to conservation efforts," Kelsey Bourgeois, the Care2 petition author, wrote.


She noted the tiger is owned by the Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, Canada, and that the big cat's trainer, Michael Hackenberger, has been charged with five counts of animal abuse. The petition also accused Bieber and his family of perpetuating the abusive animal entertainment industry by hiring animals for events.