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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 28 February 2021

New Al Ain Zoo experience cages visitors as lions roam free

The Dare to Get Closer experience is one where guests will want to ensure they keep their hands and arms firmly inside the ride

Al Ain Zoo will cage visitors as lions run free as part of a new feeding experience. Courtesy Al Ain Zoo / Facebook
Al Ain Zoo will cage visitors as lions run free as part of a new feeding experience. Courtesy Al Ain Zoo / Facebook

Al Ain Zoo is turning the typical zoo experience on its head – by putting visitors in cages and letting the lions roam free.

In this reverse experience at the park's Safari, visitors will pay Dh150 each to be locked in a cage on the back of a customised safari vehicle.

The Dare to Get Closer activity takes place inside a wire cage atop one of the zoo's specially modified vehicles. Visitors sit on seats in the middle of the cage as the truck is driven into the lion enclosure. There, the big cats roam free so guests must keep hands and arms well inside the cage walls.

Accompanied by expert guides and animal handlers, visitors will be given the chance to feed the lions, using meat on the end of metal tongs.

Mesh wire surrounding the entire safari truck means the big cats are able to climb all over the vehicle – so those taking part should not be surprised to see a lion prowling on the roof.

Visitors taking part in the experience must follow strict instructions to ensure their own safety and that of the animals. This includes following all directions from the guide, not trying to touch any of the big cats and refraining from bringing any additional food or drink on the tour. Due to the adrenalin-pumping nature of the experience, it's not suitable for children or pregnant women.

The new experience is available every Friday and Saturday at 10am for up to five guests and must be booked in advance; www.alainzoo.ae

Updated: February 2, 2021 05:41 PM

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