This zoo cages people and lets animals roam free

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 18 June 2019

The Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo in the city of Chongqing in China has turned the traditional concept of a zoo on its head by caging its visitors instead of the resident animals. People pay to get inside a cage at the back of a truck, which is driven into an open habitat where big cats, as well as bears in other areas, roam ‘free’.

According to the Daily Mail, ‘Chunks of fresh meat are tied to the outside of a vehicle, which drives through the enclosure, in a bid to attract the predators and give tourists the closest possible dining experience with them – without becoming dinner themselves.’

 

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What makes all of this even more unusual is the fact that the caged visitors can hand-feed the wild cats, including lions, Bengal tigers and white tigers, through a small opening at the top of the mesh. This draws the predators and images show the large cats up against and even on top of the cage as tourists push meat on a stick through the small opening at the top.

Critics say this is simply ‘an accident waiting to happen’, as the tigers’ claws, for example, get so close to the people inside the cages. However, despite the potential danger, this is not the only zoo of its kind. Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, New Zealand and Parque Safari Zoo in Rancagua, Chile have similar offerings and visitors also get driven around in cages with meat attached to them to lure the predators.

Image credit: CEN

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