Prague, July 11 (CTK) – The Dvur Kralove zoo in east Bohemia is the first one in Central Europe to offer safari rides right among the lions that are not separated from visitors by bars, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) wrote on Monday.
The idea of launching a safari in the zoo was first submitted by its former legendary director Josef Vagner more than 20 years ago, but it came true only last year, MfD writes.
The safari spreads on the area of 1.5 hectares. From outside it reminds of a fortress surrounded by a four-metre-high fence and an electric fence, with armed guards protecting the safety of the visitors. Inside, the big cats enjoy absolute freedom, the paper writes.
The enclosure including a new pavilion cost 18 million crowns, it writes.
A 500-metre ride among the beasts of prey in either one’s own car or the Africa Truck operated by the zoo offers an experience that is incomparable with watching lions through bars or glass barriers, the daily writes.
A plane wreck intensifies the atmosphere reminiscent of Tanzania’s Serengeti national park where air accidents often occurred in the past, the paper writes.
What is the most impressive of all is the visitors’ immediate contact with the predators. Nowhere else is it possible to approach lions as closely as in the Dvur Kralove safari.
In the safari, two lion groups alternate on display, each of which consists of three animals. The groups have been imported from the Netherlands and England, respectively. The plan to unite them to form a big pack was thwarted by a lion brawl right in the beginning.
The zoo would like to acquire uncastrated lionesses so that people can also watch lion cubs one day.
About 7,500 cars toured the safari during its first year of operation. No incidents occurred except for several ones involving undisciplined visitors who opened their car windows or carried dogs in their cars at variance with the zoo’s directives, MfD writes.