Up Close And Personal With Jungle Cats

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Wondering why these people are laughing instead of screaming their heads off? No, they are not brave, nor do they have a death wish. They can see what you can't - A thick glass barrier between them and that big cat, who just hopped on to get a bite to eat!

And, they not at some exotic wildlife reserve in Africa either, but at the 'Lions on the Edge' exhibit at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne , Australia.

However, the whole exhibit, at this award-winning zoo was conceived to make visitors feel as though they are in the wilderness in Botswana, Africa. As they enter, they are 'warned' that they are about to enter an unprotected area, one that is frequented by lions and hippos.

A carcass of a recently killed cow (not real of course) adds to the danger aspect and as visitors tread carefully into the jungle, they walk through footprints belonging to wild animals, as well as, vehicle tire tracks.

In order to make the whole scene even more life-like, the zoo has created a watering hole, a meerakat exhibit and a tall grass maze that visitors have to find their way through, before reaching the ranger's vehicle, which is stuck there with a flat tire - right inside the den of wild cats!

Except of course, the hood of the car is inside the area where the cats are, whilst the outside is where the visitors sit and watch them, as they come astonishingly close, especially during feeding time, when the food is strategically placed upon the hood of the car.

While the exhibit has been open since 2006, two big male cats were added recently, making it even more exciting. Needless to say, it is one of the Zoo's most popular exhibits! Wish we had a zoo like this in our neighborhood, don't you?

sources:zoolex.org, dailymail.co.uk

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