If you’re fascinated by lions, then there might be just the tourist experience for you in Rancagua, Chile. But be warned – it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Rancague is home to the Safari Lion Zoo – as the name suggests, the main attraction of this zoo is their lions. However, there is one big difference in the visitor experience – rather than admiring the animals from a distance, visitors will find themselves a matter of inches away from the kind of the jungle.
As you can see, the passengers on the zoo’s specially-designed vehicle sit in an open-top cage, which is strong enough to support the weight of the lions who don’t need much convincing to walk all over the top of it.
The park attracts visitors of all ages, from all around the world. Visitors are often given a piece of fresh meat to tempt the lions to come closer and try to get it.
It really does look like an amazing experience for animal lovers, who are given the rare opportunity to see a lion up-close-and-personal, without (much) risk of being hurt.
Anyone who has ever owned cats will know that they love to climb to the top of the highest thing within reaching distance, and it turns out that lions are no exception to the rule.
One thing’s for sure – if you take your kid here, they certainly won’t complain about being bored at any point! It must be pretty awe-inspiring to be that close to the lions, especially for youngsters.
There have been some concerns expressed by animal rights activists, but that can be said of most zoos – some simply don’t think that animals like this should ever be in captivity.
Personally, I think this zoo has a good approach. I’d rather these magnificent beasts were in the wild where they belong, but if they have to be in a zoo, better this setup than them living in a small enclosure in a traditional zoo. At least here they can roam around and play!
What do you think, folks? Would you visit this place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
All images © AFP PHOTO/MARTIN BERNETTI/EAST NEWS