Blend Mamoon turns heads when he roams the streets of the city of Dohuk with his pet, a year-old lion who came into Mamoon's care when he was just a 20-day-old cub.
As a member of the Kurdish-American organization to protect animals, Mamoon loves to save animals but saving the lion was his first involvement with wildlife.
The young cub needed treatment, which Mamoon provided for him after finding the animal in a local zoo owned by one of his friends.
The lion spends time resting in Mamoon's garden and playing there, much like a pet dog would.
Mamoon does not worry about the animal suddenly becoming violent or ferocious because he took it in as baby cub, feeding it milk and looking after it.
And in every way, Mamoon treats the lion just like an ordinary pet, taking it to malls, cafes and markets, where many greet the animal with excitement and pose for pictures with it.
Growing up around cats, Mamoon believes the lion thinks of himself as one of them.