Have you ever visited the zoo and felt pity for those poor animals trapped inside their physical and metaphorical cages, lifted from their natural habitats, torn away from their homes, and carried thousands of miles to live a life of endless captivity? And for what? For our entertainment?
If you are a bonafide animal lover and feel that strongly about animals and their right to freedom, if Free Willy and the Born Free series are some of your favorite films, and if you dress up as Ace Ventura on Halloween every year, then you might want to check what the weather is like in the southwest region of China whenever you are planning your next vacation. Because the Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo in Chongqing city, China, has turned the tables on zoo-goers and how! At this innovative zoo, visitors pay to be locked up in a cage while wild animals stalk them! Talk about role reversal!
Going to Lehe Ledu gives you the exciting opportunity of getting up close and personal with the most terrifying animals in the world in the most exhilarating way possible! Visitors pay to be caged inside the back of a truck that slowly makes its way through the zoo while the animals roam around the truck freely.
As if this was not a frightening enough proposition, huge chunks of raw meat are tied to the bars of the truck so that the animals can be lured in closer. There are even openings at the top of the cage from where meat is hung off a stick for the predators to lunge at! Forget about viewing dangerous apex predators from a safe distance; this zoo is all about coming face to face with your worst fears with all the thrill but none of the actual risks! It’s like watching one those documentaries you see on National Geographic, only you’re smack dab in the middle of the action and the only thing between you and wild animal are some metal wires!
The visitors are of course warned to keep their hands (and even their fingers) inside the cage at all times. I’m sure you can imagine that for the hungry, ferocious animals, the truck is nothing but a breakfast buffet on wheels, and any staying digits could make for a tasty little amuse-bouche served alongside the main course.
It’s an absolutely unique experience, because where else are you going to see a lion try and climb up the cage you’re standing in to get a taste of the meat hanging from the side? Terrifying? Sure. But so totally worth it! Tao Jen, a visitor at the zoo, put it very aptly when he said “It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in a zoo. We’re not looking at them, they’re looking at us — and we’re lunch.”
This is an incredible opportunity for all nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts! It’s the perfect way to observe predators in action without actually becoming cat food. If you’re still worried, don’t be, because the public information office at the zoo makes it a point to conduct a proper orientation before the tour begins so that all visitors are well aware of the rules and regulations. The truck is also well-secured so that you can’t get out, and crucially, the hungry marauders can’t get in.
Still not convinced? Well here’s a video of the experience inside the rolling cage, and a glimpse of just how amazing the whole experience can be:
So far, the predators you encounter in your journey will include lions, bears, Bengal tigers and their sub-species, the white tiger.
The Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo is one of the few zoos in the world to have installed a moving cage to bring zoo-goers as close as possible to big cats and bears in an open habitat. The Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch New Zealand is another zoo that offers this service.
This kind of service has become so hugely popular at the Lehe Ludu Wildlife Zoo now that the tickets have been sold out for the next three months! So if you’re planning a trip, make sure that you check if any slots are available. Book your ticket for the ultimate ride on the wild side!