The Las Vegas area is home to an unique, interesting and educational attraction that most people don’t even know exists but for animal lovers visiting the area, the Lion Habitat Ranch is a “must-see.”
Located in Henderson, Nevada (approximately 12 miles from the Las Vegas Strip), this hidden gem attraction is situated on 8.5 acres and is home to more than 40 lions that previously appeared in the lion exhibit inside the MGM Grand Resort (always coming back to the Ranch at night) and their descendants in addition to lions who have been rescued from some now-closed zoos. Lions Habitat Ranch is also home to several ostriches, emus, exotic birds and a young giraffe named Ozzie. The Lion Habitat Ranch provides care and a home to the lions for the rest of their natural lives.
Owned by Keith Evans and his wife, Beverly, the Lion Habitat Ranch offers visitors a chance to get up close to these majestic creatures as they take a self-guided tour along the paved paths and get unobstructed views of the lions as they play, lounge, nap, groom and eat in their glass enclosed habitats which include live-in, hand-built air conditioned dens. Every day at 11:30 a.m. visitors can watch as owner Evans hand feeds raw meat to the lions which currently include five six month old cubs. The day I was there I not only saw the cubs being fed but got to witness the lion cubs and their mother play and frolic in a plastic swimming pool. It’s a sight I won’t soon forget.
An interesting note: All the lions are given showers daily. Trainers shampoo the lions’ fur with baby shampoo and then they receive a blow-dry treatment. Other educational facts that visitors can learn is that female lions do all the hunting, lions sleep up to 20 hours a day, they can leap as high as 13 feet, they can run at a speed of 40 MPH and African lions eat together. Lion food at the Lion Habitat Ranch includes beef steaks and horse meat.
Visitors can also take a photo while sitting in partial jeep set up in front of one of the lions habitats with a plexiglass window. Lions are trained to jump up on a box near the window allowing guests to get a fantastic photo of them and a lion with the lion appearing to be right over their shoulder. It’s an up- close and personal souvenir photo in a completely safe environment.
Winter hours for the Lion Habitat Ranch are 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with the last admittance at 2:30 p.m. It is recommended that you give yourself at least one hour for a tour. Admission for the self-guided tour is $25 for adults (includes one child 4-14 free per adult), $20 for seniors and members of the military, police, fire with an ID and $10 for each extra child.
For any extended experience, visitors can hand feed Ozzie, the giraffe for $20 per person, hand feed a lion for $100 per person per pound of food or take a Behind the Scenes Tour (approximately 90 minutes) for $125 per person. For groups of 11-20 people, cost is $75 per person for the Behind the Scenes Tour. A part of the proceeds goes to wild lion habitats.
For more information about the Lion Habitat Ranch, call 702-595-6666 or get online at www.lionhabitatranch.com. The Lion Habitat Ranch is located at 382 Bruner Ave. in Henderson, Nevada. It is approximately 12 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.