This Zoo Knows Who Belongs in the Cages

Sep 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm |

At This Zoo, It’s the People Who Are On Display

Even the most animal rights conscious people struggle with the fact that they love going to the zoo — we love to share in the wonder of all of nature’s amazing creations, but sometimes putting animals in cages isn’t in their best interest.

The people at Orana Wildlife Park’s Lion Encounter in Christchurch, New Zealand, are working to combat this problem, by putting the tourists in the cages to view the lions. Many animal lovers are psyched about the idea. Many comments on the Orana Wildlife Park’s Instagram photos of the Lion Encounter sport positive messages about the progress they’re making in conservationism.

people in cages at lion exhibit

Source: Facebook @ViralNova

Some are not so sure what the real benefit is here, though. “This appears to present a positive change away from the traditional arrangement of animals in cages being surrounded by visitors,” Chris Draper, the manager of progress at Born Free Foundation, told The Dodo. “However, is the lion enclosure any bigger or better than in any other zoo or wildlife park? This set-up might improve the view of the cats for the visitors, but the benefits to the lions are unclear. Does this experience turn visitors into passionate conservationists, or is it just a cheap thrill? Fundamentally, this is a captive facility and these lions will never be released to the wild: They deserve the very best in terms of animal welfare, but let’s not lose sight of the need to focus on keeping big cats where they belong — in the wild.”

While Draper may have a point, there’s no doubt that Orana is at least taking steps in the right direction toward truly responsible wildlife conservation.

See for yourself in the video below, and SHARE the thrilling clip with your friends and family!

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I love this idea! The video is pretty thrilling.