Have you ever visited the zoo and felt pity for those poor animals trapped inside their physical and metaphorical ᴄᴀɢᴇs, lifted from their natural habitats, torn away from their homes, and carried thousands of miles to live a life of endless ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ? And for what? For our entertainment?
A zoo in China called The Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo, has flipped the traditional concept of a zoo upside-down. Instead of the animals being confined to small ᴄᴀɢᴇs, the people are. Visitors get driven through the park in a ᴄᴀɢᴇᴅ vehicle while the world’s most ꜰᴇʀᴏᴄɪᴏᴜs ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs, including Bengal tigers, white tigers, lions, and bears sᴛᴀʟᴋ them like ᴘʀᴇʏ.
The cage in which the visitors are ʟᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ in sits on a moving vehicle that has chunks of fresh meat attached to it. The vehicle drives through the park, allowing the meat to attract the ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs. Very quickly, the animals come running toward the vehicle because they smell food, giving tourists the closest possible dining experience with them without getting ᴇᴀᴛᴇɴ themselves.
For those who really want to experience how it feels like getting closer to a lion or a tiger, the Lehe Ledu Zoo offers this unique opportunity. And since the visitors are in safe vehicles you can get as closest as possible to those huge beast without any ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ. The tourists also have the possibility to feed the animals. But only under the guidance of the zoo’s staff and with specific food.
“We wanted to give our visitors the thrill of being sᴛᴀʟᴋᴇᴅ and ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋᴇᴅ by the big cats but with, of course, none of the risks,” said zoo spokeswoman Chan Liang to Oddity Central. “The guests are warned to keep their fingers and hands inside the cage at all times because a hungry tiger wouldn’t know the difference between them and breakfast.”
Since tigers come centimeters away from clawing people in the cage, some critics believe this attraction is an ᴀᴄᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛ waiting to happen. Regardless, this is not the only zoo of its kind. Some other zoos that also have ᴄᴀɢᴇᴅ visitors with free-roaming animals include Parque Safari Zoo in Rancagua, Chile, and Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, New Zealand.