Zoo Says Humans Can Finally Sleep With Lions

Dec 07, 2015 08:27 AM EST | By Maria Leonila Masculino

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Lions are majestic wild animals that could prey on any living thing they encounter.  

The Dodo reports humans could finally live closer to these dangerous species inside a zoo for about $570 a night. The ZSL London Zoo has announced on Thursday that guests will be able to get a close-up view of Asiatic lions from its Gir Lion Lodges. The exhibit called Land of the Lions is set to open for accommodations in the spring of 2016.

Land of the Lions is ZSL London Zoo's fundraising campaign which aims to protect wild Asiatic lions at the Gir Forest in India. "With such a tiny population remaining in a small pocket of forest, Asiatic lions are particularly vulnerable to the threats of disease and conflict with humans," the website states. "ZSL is working with the Gujarat government and Wildlife Institute of India to safeguard the future of these majestic creatures."

"Making the most of ZSL's incredible range of expertise, Land of the Lions has been designed with zookeepers and conservationists to ensure that the Asiatic lions' every need have been met," the statement adds. "Initial work on the new exhibit has now begun, and covering more than 2,500sqm (27,00sqft) will be five times the size of the previous enclosure."

This exhibit disturbs animal activists, however, since the zoo will enclose these wild creatures inside a limited space --- considering that lions roam around territories as wide as 100 square miles.

The London zoo, which was established in 1828 as a venue for scientific study, was opened for public viewing in 1847. Just like any other venues that exhibit wild captives, ZSL London Zoo has also been receiving a lot of criticisms for improper handling of wild animals.

"The fact that we have to keep animals in captivity is a sign of the abject failure of us as a species," said campaigner Damian Aspinall. "The only reason to have zoological collections should be to protect endangered species and breed with the goal of releasing them into the wild. The idea that zoos should be for the education or entertainment of mankind fills me with horror."

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