Latest News

Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria

The four passengers in the jeep must feel a whisker away from death as a lion jumps up on to their bonnet for lunch.

But that's all part of the attraction. The jeep is a new zoo exhibit which allows visitors to get incredibly close to the lions.

The back part of the vehicle, up to where the windscreen should be, is actually on the outside of the reinforced glass cage. The bonnet is on the inside, and covered with meat to entice the big cats closer.
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Lunch time: The astonished tourists are just inches away from the lion's jaws at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria, Australia

Werribee Open Range Zoo
Don't mind me: The lion tucks into his food as the bemused tourists look on

It makes for an exhilarating experience, according to Robyn and Davin Price, both 34, who visited the Werribee Open Range Zoo, in Melbourne, Australia, with their children Ariel, five, Eden, three, and baby Evie.

Mrs Price said: 'It was absolutely amazing. You can't even see the glass is there.' Her husband added: 'I'm sure the lions thought our children were their dessert!'

This incredible Lions on the Edge exhibit, which puts you just inches from a lion’s jaws, is one of the biggest attractions at the zoo.

Kings of the jungle Tombo and Tonyi are joined by two lionesses in the exhibit. Though it has been open since 2006, the male lions were added just last month - leading to some startling photo opportunities.

Werribee Open Range Zoo
A pause between courses: The lion polishes off his meal, and waits hungrily for the next

Werribee Open Range Zoo
Come a little closer: The jungle king seems unperturbed by the toddler immediately behind him

Davin added: 'The children were trying to reach out to touch the lions. It's a brilliant idea.

'I've never been so close to such incredible animals before.

Heather Sargeant, who was also at the zoo on Friday, said: 'You don't realise just how big they are until they are staring you in the face like that.

Werribee Open Range Zoo
Behind the looking glass: Another view of the exhibit from the zoo's website

I did ask a staff member a few questions about how strong the glass was before I felt able to sit down.

'It's both frightening, exciting and exhilarating all at the same time.'

This unique opportunity to get up close to the fearsome cats has won the 25-year-old zoo an award and promises to be a mane attraction for years to come.

Werribee Open Range Zoo
Brotherly love: Tombo and Tonyi cuddle together unaware that they are being watched in this photograph taken by a camera hidden beneath a log in their enclosure


Leave a Reply