Friday, October 30, 2015

Feeding the lions at Bristol Zoo

Animals: Feeding the lions at Bristol Zoo

Daisay Johnson, October 28, 2015

Lion fans can now step behind-the-scenes at Bristol Zoo for an unforgettable experience feeding the king of the jungle. Learn more about the zoo's two male lions Kamran and Ketan, who are endangered Asiatic lions from India, and get up close and personal to these magnificent beasts.
This is what happened when I was lucky enough to be able to give the lion feeding experience a try.

Firstly, Alan the zoo keeper tells me a bit about the pair of lions.
As he explains how I'll be feeding them, they recognise Alan - who helped to hand rear them - and  know that food is on its way.

We prepared the lions' food including horse meat stained blue so it couldn't find itself for sale to humans.

Due to the sharpness and weight of the knives, I was given these chainmail-like gloves before it was my turn to chop up the meat.

Alan's cutting was more deft and faster than mine.
Those lions were getting hungry, remember.

It was time for a few more safety tips and instructions of how to safely feed Kamran and Ketan as we walked back to the lion enclosure.

Once we got through the gate, my nerves started to set in.

Alan quickly and effortlessly fed Ketan.
He showed me how it's done with the help of a pair of giant tweezers.

I was always a safe distance away, but even so, Ketan was quite gentle and took his food through the metal mesh with ease.

Kamran was being fed at the same time to our left.
He's the smaller and less dominant of the brothers, but still very eager for his food.

Ketan the lion seemed very satisfied with my feeding skills.

Thanks Alan and all at Bristol Zoo for an amazing, eye-opening experience.

The lion feeding experience costs £140, and takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11.45am to 12.30pm. The package includes entrance for yourself and a friend, and a t-shirt souvenir to remember the experience.
For more information, visit

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