A zoo can be a positive place for animals and people. Many animals that live in zoos are on endangered species lists. Some argue that being alive in captivity is better than being killed in the wild. In return, people get to learn about wild animals. They also get to see them up close. Zoos of the past with small cages and enclosures are now being replaced with larger and more natural habitats. One zoo in China has taken the concept of a zoo to a whole new level. Instead of the animals being in cages, the visitors are put in cages. Let’s take a closer look.
The Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo lets the animals roam freely within the zoo compounds, while visitors ride in caged vehicles and buses with large windows. A spokesperson from the zoo said, “We wanted to give our visitors the thrill of being stalked and attacked by the big cats but with, of course, none of the risks.”
“We’re looking at them, they’re looking at us – and we’re lunch”
To take this concept up a notch, meat is placed on the vehicles so the carnivores at the zoo will come up close and personal to the people to get their meals. Tao Jen, a zoo visitor described the encounter. She said, “It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced in a zoo before. We’re not looking at them, they’re looking at us – and we’re lunch.”
Park officials remind the people to always keep their hands in the cages, otherwise, an animal could grab them while grabbing their meals. Some visitors raved about this experience. On the other hand, some commented that it’s an accident waiting to happen.
What do you think? Should the zoo continue to drive people around in cages with meat attached to the outsides of the vehicles? While visitors will get an up-close and personal visit from big animals, there may be safer ways to do this.