on February 22, 2008
With the slots and game tables hindering my financial stability over the course of our Vegas weekend, my fiancé and I decided to find less-expensive ventures to fill our Saturday afternoon. Lucky for us a free attraction was right in the middle of our gambling debacle to divert our attention- the Lion’s Habitat at the MGM Grand.To be fair I will disclose that I am a huge fan of cats (both big and small) to begin with, so perhaps this journal might be a bit biased. But I was legitimately impressed with the display at the MGM Grand. A natural-looking cliff habitat is encased in Plexiglas to allow on-lookers to get up-close and personal with the cats inside. A fun feature is the tunnel (also made of Plexiglas) that runs through the middle that viewers stand in as the lions play above and around. It might sound silly, but it’s pretty amazing to look up and see just how huge the lion’s foot is as he steps above you.Trainers attend to the two lion cubs as they entertain the crowd. They also give general factual presentations about the cubs in general to educate visitors. The lions are encouraged to play and interact- they have various toys with huge claw marks in them to remind visitors that these are no ordinary kitty cats but ferocious beasts (though they may seem like ordinary house cats when they are just batting a ball around).Interesting lion facts include that these lions are related to the original MGM mascot lion. There are many "fact" panels that line the exhibit with all sorts of information about these specific lion cubs and lions in general. There is also a nearby gift-shop with tons of lion-themed merchandise (perfect if you’re like me and could never have enough cat-paraphernalia).The Lion’s Habitat is open during all casino hours, but the Lions are only there during specified times. They are actually bought in daily from a larger habitat outside of town. I’m not sure if they are on some sort of a schedule, but they seemed to be there all afternoon the day I was there. Something fun and free in Vegas? Yes, the Lion’s Habitat fits that bill.
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