SAN ANTONIO – A million-dollar upgrade has been completed to the San Antonio Zoo's lion habitat.
The zoo said guests can get face-to-face with the lions, which could make for a unique experience.
"We stood in front of this habitat and dreamed about a better home for our lions, and today I'm happy to say that dream has become a reality," executive director and CEO Tim Morrow said.
Part of the upgrade included filling a concrete moat with fresh soil, which added 25 percent more yard space, the zoo said. Large, tempered and reinforced glass allows a new way for guests to have a safe, up-close experience.
Guests in a few weeks can test their strength by playing tug-of-war with a lion with the help of animal care specialists during designated times, the zoo said.
"Our vision for the new San Antonio Zoo continues to expand, and I am thrilled for what the future holds," Morrow said. "We named this area of the zoo Big Cat Valley, as it's home to both African lions and Sumatran tigers, and this exhibit is our gift to San Antonio and these majestic animals."
The improvements are a continuation of the reinvestments that the zoo said it has been making over the last two years. More than $5 million has now been committed to animal habitat updates and facility improvements.