A zoo in New Zealand has done something different to revive tourism in earthquake-stricken Christchurch. It's a close encounter with the animal kind.
Instead of seeing animals inside cages, New Zealand's Orana Wildlife Park locks people up while animals are free to roam. Visitors who had been inside the cage felt like being inside a cage underwater with sharks moving about, only this time, it's a pack of hungry lions outside the cage.
The mobile enclosure was built to allow visitors to get up close and personal with lions during their feeding time. It may sound frightening but it's an experience one would not likely forget. Animal keepers will also be there inside the cage to guide visitors.
The cage can hold up to 20 people for a fee of NZ$30 or US$23. While people are safe inside the human cage, lions may jump up on the sides on top of the moving mesh enclosure. This may be the closest way the zoo's visitors can get to the lions safely.
Orana Wildlife Park keepers will feed the lions inside the human cage so people can see how lions are fed in their natural habitat. The human cage is attached to a flat-bed truck which keeps the cage mobile.
Dubbed as "The Lion Encounter", the New Zealand park spokesman said it would certainly be a unique experience for tourists who have never before seen lions up close. Although people have already seen lions caged in zoos, they have never seen these animals face to face without the risk of getting hurt.
The Orana Wildlife Park in New Zealand is the country's only zoo set in an open range of 80 hectares of land. The park also features more than 400 animals in 70 species.
After the massive earthquake in Christchurch in Feb. 2013, local tourism has been affected. As Christchurch began to rebuild and restore what was once lost due to the earthquake damage, tourism will once again play a major role in bringing visitors back from all over the world.