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Yes, zoo in China puts people in cages while animals roam free

A meme shared on Facebook in South Africa shows a group of people in a large cage on wheels, with big cats – including tigers – standing next to it, looking in.

“The zoo that puts people in moving cages while animals roam free,” the text reads. “Finally, someone got it right.”

The meme was flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system. Does this zoo really exist?

Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo

A reverse image search of the meme’s photo led us to a number of online reports on the Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo in the city of Chongqing, southwestern China.

Here visitors are given the chance to be locked in metal cages attached to a truck and driven through the habitat of large predators, according to Sublime China, a travel agency in Hangzhou, China.

To make it even more exciting, the agency says, “bundles of raw meat are attached to the outside of the cages to attract the attention of animals like lions and tigers”.

The animals are drawn to the cage and climb onto the sides to reach the meat, giving visitors inside a close-up view. 

On its website, the Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo says it stocks more than 30 species of extremely rare wild animals.

A video posted by New China TV gives a sense of the experience.

‘Flip side of a zoo’

The zoo’s founders “wanted to create an experience where visitors could feel the thrill of being stalked by a large animal without taking any actual risks”, says Sublime China.

“They wanted to turn the traditional zoo experience around,” effectively creating “the flip side of a zoo”. – Taryn Willows


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