Las Vegas Lion Habitat Ranch

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 Emily Childers 0 Comments

On Black Friday my family decided to forego the retail frenzy and check out the Lion Habitat Ranch, which is located just across the freeway from us in South Las Vegas. We made the right choice. Like whoa.

The ranch houses 46 lions (5 of which are cubs), ostriches, emus, and Nevada's first giraffe (a baby named Ozzie). There were trainers throughout the facility feeding the lions through the fence and answering questions. They were knowledgeable and seemed genuinely happy to talk to us. The lions were all active (which probably had something to do with being fed) and some were even playing with their (giant) toys.

We all took pictures in the jeep right in front of first lion enclosure; only bulletproof glass separated us from the animal. He was breath taking.

The enclosures were all clean and spacious. The plywood houses in each enclosure are heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer; these are some comfortable cats!

Ozzie the baby giraffe had a foot long tongue and was adorable on his spindly legs. He will almost double in height by the time he's full grown.

The highlight of the trip was the cubs. They are already over 100 pounds each, but still have the giant paws and inquisitive faces of adolescents. We stuck around to watch them be hand fed by trainers, then let into their dad's enclosure to play with him. Apparently lions are pack animals and really bond with their family members.

By the end of our time at the ranch I knew I wanted to go back. So later that weekend I put in an application to volunteer. Here's hoping they still need help, as I can't wait to return!