“ To honor the lion and help safeguard its preservation for future generations, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has created a one-of-a-kind Lion Habitat as a showcase for public education and appreciation for this majestic creature of nature. The lion has been a part of the MGM heritage for many years, beginning with the legendary Leo, whose roars have welcomed generations of moviegoers to epics of the silver screen. „
All of the hotels in Las Vegas have a theme and one of the famous themes that people come to see are the lions. One of my favourite hotels is the MGM hotel and casino home to the lions! The hotel is easy to spot as it is the massive green one with the gold lion statue at the front. The MGM Grand is the second largest hotel in the world and boy is it big! It is green because when it first opened it was heavily themed in Wizard of Oz paraphernalia as it took is cue from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios.
Whether you agree with it or not and I'm not sure that I do one of the biggest attractions in this casino is the lion enclosure. Right in the middle of the casino is a huge glass walled cage if you like, which has a lion habitat. THe attraction is actually called The Lion Habitat. Now, the lions do not actually live here but they do come and wander around the habitat for patrons to view them. According to the MGM website, "the lions live in custom accommodations on an 8.5-acre ranch 12 miles from the MGM Grand. They are owned and cared for by noted feline expert Keith Evans, who has been training exotic animals for more than 41 years."
The exhibit is free to view so even if yoga re not staying at the MGM hotel you can come and see the lions by wandering through the hotel. I believe, but I have not done it you can pay a certain amount of money and go and stroke baby lion cubs but last time we were there my husband did not want to do this as he has stroked lion cubs in Kenya in the Masai Mara and believed this was much more authentic and proper than in a casino in Vegas.
The lions truly are a majestic sight. There is a glass tunnel with a walkway over it and you can go through the tunnel and look up and you will often find the lions lounging on this part of the glass. It is amazing to see them so up close and also a bit frightening but a good way to get close to nature. According to the hotel they see the Lion enclosure as such, "To honor the lion and help safeguard its preservation for future generations, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has created a one-of-a-kind Lion Habitat as a showcase for public education and appreciation for this majestic creature of nature. The lion has been a part of the MGM heritage for many years, beginning with the legendary Leo, whose roars have welcomed generations of moviegoers to epics of the silver screen."
The habitat is small for such a huge creature but it si decorated well with lots of flora and rocks and places to hide for the lions so whether or not you agree this is still an amazing sight to behold.
Last September I visited Las Vegas with my boyfriend. Even before we arrived, we had a long list of things to do whilst out there as I had spoken to a number of people that had been to Vegas on holiday before and looked on a website describing the hundreds of things that you can do whilst there. One of the attractions that was relatively high on my list of priorities as I love animals was The Lion Habitat.
What is The Lion Habitat? The Lion Habitat is an area where guests of the hotel and visitors have just one and a half inches of glass separating them from the gorgeous lions on the other side. At any one time, there are only ever two lions in the enclosure, at least that was the case when I visited. Through this glass, you can see them feed, play and sleep. And go for the two times that we managed to see the lions rather than the backs of heads we mainly saw them sleep! The enclosure looked extremely spacious and outside along the glass were boards which have various different interesting facts about lions.
Whilst in The Lion Habitat, you will hear over a tannoy, details of how the lion habitat works and how the lions are treated very well to satisfy many animal rights protestors I'm sure. They also tell you that the environment inside the exhibit is the same as what the lions are used to and that the glass is soundproof so regardless of how noisy it is outside, they can't hear a thing.
There are 31 lions used at The Lion Habitat: 20 females and 11 males. They are rotated in and out of the habitat throughout the day as the lions only stay in the habitat for six hours at a time. The lions do not live in the MGM Grand. When they aren't on display behind the glass, they reside on an 8.5-acre ranch located 12 miles looked after by Keith Evans, an animal trainer and environmentalist. The trainers give presentations throughout the day and I found this to be very interesting but I guess whether or not you get to see one depends on if you are around at that time and the same goes for when the trainers play with the lions as this isn't structured unlike the feeding times.
Where is The Lion Habitat? The Lion Habitat is located in the MGM Grand, the hotel that we were staying at in Las Vegas during our stay. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino can be found at the south end of the Vegas Strip. My advice would be to get the Monorail if your hotel is not situated close as it goes directly to the hotel and I can tell you that walking from one end of the strip to the other hurts your feet... a lot.
What are the opening hours? The Lion Habitat is open from 11am to 7pm on a daily basis and the feeding times are 11.15am and 4.30pm. It is open for quite a long period of the day so if it is something that you want to see, there are no excuses!
How much does this attraction cost? The Lion Habitat is completely free of charge. How fantastic! Just like the Fountains of Bellagio and The Mirage Volcano, this attraction does not cost you a single penny of your money. As it doesn't cost anything, you do find that it gets quite crowded, especially during feeding time. We went to have a look one afternoon but gave up as we couldn't see a thing and went back when it wasn't feeding time but at least we got to walk through the small enclosure. And we saw the 2 gorgeous cubs that you can go in and pet for half an hour (at an additional cost of course) if you so desire.
As you walk through the habitat, you come out into a small shop (surprise, surprise). If you desire to buy t-shirts with lions on or stuff toys of lions at quite expensive prices then you'll be ok but I think you will probably find yourself walking straight through, like we did.
Will you get many good photographs? We didn't. Even when the glass wasn't reflected, you had a young kid jump up and get his head in your picture so I wouldn't say that a camera is essential for your visit.
If you do happen to go to Las Vegas, I definitely that The Lion Habitat is worth a visit. In comparison to the other things that you can do and see out in Vegas it is not the most exciting but it is also free, so go along and enjoy if you are close to the MGM Grand. Have a roaring good time!
When I was talking to my hairdresser back in May about going to Vegas, I mentioned that I wanted to go to the Secret Garden at the Mirage to see the lions. She recommended that I go to the MGM Grand and see the Lions there as apparently they are extremely happy. So when we were in Vegas we went to the MGM Grand and we knew it was going to be good before we even got in there. Here is why you should take a look at the Lion Habitat at MGM.
The MGM Grand is a huge hotel and casino and used to be the biggest on the strip. It is a great emerald green colour and at the front of the hotel you have huge gold letters with the hotel name and then a massive Gold lion. This lion is seriously big and you can see it a long way up the strip. We took photos of people by it and you can really grasp how big it is as they look like ants. At least with the gold lion you know you are at the right place.
You walk into the MGM Grand and we walked in the door which led you straight to the Lion Habitat which is considered part of the entertainment at MGM Grand. It is a huge habitat which includes logs, trees and a waterfall and it is all encased in glass. It expands over two sides of the building because it is separated by a walkway underneath the whole enclosure.
It is massive but not overly so and I think this is because the Hotel is big so the habitat looks a lot smaller than it actually is. There is a sign above the walkway which says The Lion habitat and has a picture of a paw print. Also what you will notice is that there are a lot of people around this area as it is a bit of a tourist spot but we still managed to get some great views and some fantastic pictures which shows how beautiful these creatures are.
There were 2 lions when we were there and they were both asleep. One was asleep directly above the walkway so you could see exactly how big his paws were and just generally how big he was. The other lion was on a log and because of the glass we didn't get a great picture but we were not too bothered as the other one was so attainable.
I am a big person for noticing how they keep animals and these lions just looked in heaven as they were fast asleep and ignoring all of the people and just looked like they had no cares in the world. One did get up at one point and walked around and you wouldn't have even known if he had known the audience was there. He just ignored us all!
While at the lion habitat there is a constant tannoy which tells you about it and why the lions are treated well and how it works. The habitat has been created to mirror what lions like so the running water basically and the temperature in there is pretty warm. Also the logs are expensive and all put in a way that mirrors what you would expect.
They also tell you that the glass is soundproof so the lions cannot hear any noises from the hotel which is good as most of the people looking at them were squealing. They spent over 1 million on this habitat so they really want to make these lions happy and to be honest they did look ok. Still a bit small for my liking but the best habitat type environment I have seen for lions. Especially one that is inside.
They also explain to you that the lions do not live at the hotel but on a ranch a little while away so they do have a massive expansive area there. This is good as they rotate them so the lions do not actually permanently live in a hotel.
In conclusion I think the lion habitat is brilliant here at the MGM Grand and I would definitely recommend people come and see them. They might not be as interesting as the secret garden as they move around and they are in cages so you can see them really well. This however seems a lot nicer for them and they wouldn't be able to profess all of these statements if they were not true so I believe it is a great habitat that they have taken a lot of care over.
Definitely somewhere to visit when in Vegas.
Thanks for reading.
This is another free attraction on the Las Vegas Strip, and a chance for all cat lovers to get really close to these magnificent animals. It is located at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and it's open daily from 11am - 7pm.
I rather dislike the idea of any animals living in captivity and being paraded around for our entertainment, but MGM claims this to be an educational project "to honour the lion and help safeguard its preservation for future generations". Hmm, okay then...
A lot of you will know the roaring lion "Leo" being part of the MGM logo at the beginning of many old films. Apparently some of the cats on display here are his direct descendants, or so they say!
We are also reliably informed that the lions live in very comfortable accommodations on a ranch outside Vegas and are well looked after by a "noted feline expert Keith Evans who has been training exotic animals for more than 30 years".
They are rotated daily, so sometimes you may see a couple of large grown animals, and other times it may be little cubs chasing each other around and playing with toys. The point is, they spend most of their time on the ranch, away from the bright lights of Las Vegas.
The enclosure is made from thick Plexiglas (at least you hope it's thick enough!) and the viewing area is pretty large so you mostly don't have to elbow your way in to get a good view.
You can get very close to the glass to take pictures, but try not to use flash! These beautiful creatures have probably seen enough flash bulbs in their time, but also it will most likely reflect off the side of the enclosure and your photo will look rubbish.
There is also a little see-through tunnel that runs through the middle of the habitat where you can stand and watch the lions above you. When I was there, two of them were up there looking a bit bored and sleepy.
They perked up as soon as the trainer went into the enclosure with a little snack for them, a bucket of red meat! He started throwing big chunks of meat onto the side of the wall and one piece landed right in front of me. Within seconds it was scooped up with one swift move. Never mind the Plexiglas, it still made me jump.
People of all ages seemed to be enjoying the show, a lot of families there, but if it's not your thing, the slot machines are only a coin's throw away!
There is a gift-shop nearby too, should you feel inspired to stock up on lion related merchandise.
To honor the lion and help safeguard its preservation for future generations, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has created a one-of-a-kind Lion Habitat as a showcase for public education and appreciation for this majestic creature of nature. The lion has been a part of the MGM heritage for many years, beginning with the legendary Leo, whose roars have welcomed generations of moviegoers to epics of the silver screen.