Welcome to the most dangerous zoo in the world, where even the tiniest tots can cuddle up next to lions and you can go nose-to-nose, literally, with a full-grown bear.
For about $50, tourists can walk right into the cage with the lions. No other zoo will ever allow you to do that.
The zoo even allows children to get close to the animals.
According to zoo officials, these animals have all received gentleness training in order to become used to people and cameras. If you don’t know a lot about lions and other wild creatures, that sounds perfectly plausible.
Best Selfies Ever
This is Lujan Zoo, near Buenos Aires in Argentina, and tourists have flocked to it in recent years to get one-of-a-kind photos you truly can’t capture anywhere else.
Visitors to the zoo, however, didn’t buy that PR line. Many visitors to Lujan reported the animals appeared drugged and groggy.
According to officials, the zoo is also illegal. Lujan’s entire appeal is a direct violation of Argentine law that prohibits direct animal contact with members of the public.
Animal activists who found photos of the zoo on social media launched a campaign against the zoo. Government officials launched a big investigation in 2014.
At that time, the zoo had about 400 different animals, including bears, lions, and tigers.
When it opened in 1994, the zoo had a pair of lions, a single monkey, and several grazers. According to the zoo, wild animals are fed before they meet the public and they’re raised alongside domesticated dogs so they will learn gentle traits.
Rally Against The Zoo
No one was buying that story, however, and a movement to shut down the zoo swelled to over 6,000 members on Facebook in December of 2014.
The Lujan Zoo has very recently been closed, but that could be temporary. The official website is still up and running, and the contact numbers still work.