How Do You Entertain A Lion?

I used to be a tour guide at the zoo back when we lived in Adelaide. Adelaide Zoo has many volunteer programs going on and one of them is called BEAZA – Behavioural Enrichment for Adelaide Zoo Animals. One Sunday we were lucky enough to be there when the Lions were presented with an interesting toy. Can anyone tell what it is? I left the images bigger than usual so you’ll have to click on the thumbnails for a better view.
Lion meets bowling ball

Note that this enclosure has since been demolished and the Lions are in a new enclosure with a lot less unpleasant looking security arrangements. And yes, the item given to the Lions was rather the worse for wear when it was retrieved. You can see some of the clawmarks in the photos! They had a lot of fun with it.

What else do BEAZA do? Anything and everything – from building a shelter for the Brown Bears to creating an artificial termite mound for the Orangutans to making hammocks for the Sun Bears out of firehouse to providing pumpkins for the Hippos to play football with – and the list goes on. However the Hippos decided they like to eat pumpkin more than they like to kick it around with their feet so a weekly pumpkin treat is now on their menu. I know I have some photos of that somewhere, when I find them I will share. ;)

I miss my zoo time. We used to be there at least once a week. Now I haven’t been to a zoo in months – all the zoos nearby are quite a drive away. I’ve been going through a lot of the photo albums lately.. so many memories. Now Adelaide Zoo are set to get Pandas in 2009. We’ll have to go back to see that.

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5 thoughts on “How Do You Entertain A Lion?

  1. Awesome!

    We don’t have a zoo near us either (that I know of) although we did go to London Zoo when we were there earlier this year. The kids loved it. M&M is begging me to take her to see the Tigers when we go to the Gold Coast next week.

  2. It’s probably our closest – 1200km away. That’s on my list when we move next year. Did you know I’ve never actually done a day there, despite working there as a teenager? LOL I worked in the food kiosk at the front. But definitely taking the kids :)

  3. Awesome photos! I’m going to guess that new toy for the lions was a bowling ball? I would imagine any other kind would pop with those claws. Yikes. That is so cool that you used to get to spend so much time with the animals. I love to see them but at a respectable distance. ;)

  4. I was showing L the lion photos and he mentioned that he’d never been to the zoo. “Never been to the Adelaide Zoo?” “No, never been to any zoo. Not even as a kid.” (He had a deprived abusive childhood.) Guess where I’m taking him for christmas?

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