Saturday, January 30, 2016
Land of the Lions
An amazing new experience opening Easter 2016 at ZSL London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo’s biggest and most breath-taking experience ever will be unveiled to the public this Easter, as the doors open to Land of the Lions on Friday 25 March 2016.
Home to a pride of endangered Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica), the £5.7m Land of the Lions features an awe-inspiring ‘windowless-view’ of the big cat’s enclosure. As visitors enter the crumbling ruin of an amphitheatre-style Lion Temple, the majestic big cats will roam just metres away, separated only by fine wires.
Created to transport visitors from the heart of London to the vibrant setting of Sasan Gir in India and covering an expanse of 2,500sqm (27,000sqft), visitors will enter through a grand stone archway, before picking up their ‘park pass’ at the Gir Tourist Information centre. They’ll then explore Sasan Gir Train Station - where the odd lion might be spotted snoozing on the tracks - or embark on a journey on the overhead walkway, to discover the troop of lively Hanuman langur monkeys, and gaze across the lions’ forest home.
ZSL London Zoo’s designers visited the lions’ wild home in the Gujarat state in India for inspiration and ideas, and worked with members of London’s Gujarati community to ensure the exhibit lives up to the land it emulates. Rickshaws, bicycles, sacks of spices, maps, rangers’ huts, and even a life-size truck – researched, sourced and shipped from India – are dotted around Land of the Lions, both inside and out of the lions’ domain, highlighting the uniquely-close proximity in which Asiatic lions live with people in their native Indian habitat.
Brand new live-action adventure at Land of the Lions will see visitors become part of the story, as they help ZSL’s forest rangers deal with a ‘lion-emergency’ in the Gir Forest, and lend a hand with the veterinary team who come to the rescue. Those in search of an adrenaline-rush can hop on a bike and rely on pedal-power alone to see if they can outrun an Asiatic lion – albeit an imaginary one - using the preferred mode of transport of the conservation rangers working in the wild.
Wild Asiatic lions are found only in the Gir Forest region, in the Indian state of Gujarat. Protected by law, the lions play an important role in the local community who deeply value the presence of the big cats. But due to their limited range, Asiatic lions are at threat from disease outbreak and conflict with humans in villages less comfortable with their presence.
The result of ZSL’s Asiatic lions fundraising campaign, Land of the Lions will provide the perfect home for the big cats, and promises an enthralling new experience which will support and promote ZSL’s international conservation efforts to protect Asiatic lions.
lease note: There are currently no lions on show at ZSL London Zoo until Land of the Lions opens at Easter 2016.
Liontrust, the specialist fund management company, are proud sponsors of ZSL's Asiatic Lions Campaign.