By the end of 2017 you’ll be able to walk right into the middle of the lion’s den at Monarto Zoo.
It was announced yesterday that the zoo had secured funding to build the predator experience, which will feature a tunnel that runs underneath the lion enclosure and emerges into the midst of the 12 strong lion pride.
$720,000 of the funding will come from the zoo themselves, $360,000 from the SA Regional Development Fund and $350,000 from the Commonwealth Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Project.
The build will begin in April with the project ewxpected to be complete by the end of the year.
ZoosSA CEO Elaine Bensted says the build will have minimal impact on the animals, who will be placed in their overnight quarters for a few days while lion proof fencing is built around the contruction site to protect workers from becoming lion lunch.
"The temporary fencing will be a little more substantial than you'll see on most building sites so it's designed to keep lions out."
"Then the lions wil be let back out and they'll be available for viewing from the platform up at Monarto and the public will also be able to see the builders doing some work."
The experience will be an extra coast on top of your entry into the zoo, the price set at around $60 per adult reduced for children and members.
"Compared to the other experiences that we offer it's in a very similar price range. I'm quite sure we'll still see some pretty amazing uptake becuase it will be a very unique experience." Ms Bensted said.
There may also be opportunities for extended experiences in the facillity, whether that be cocktails or dinner in the lion's den, that is still to be decided.