Lunchtime at the Lion Habitat Ranch has certainly gotten busier! Seven new cubs are demanding a lot of attention and are more than an armful. Rock, D.J., Cash, Bugsy, Ted, Pepe and lone sister, Star are now about four months old and growing by 2 to 3 pounds a week! The new cubs now bring the pride to 47 cats. And before they get too big to cuddle, owners Keith and Beverly Evans, are offering you a chance to sidle up next to the cubs and take a photo! What a keepsake.
The Evans have spent their lives raising, training, and caring for big cats. You may have seen their lions in the famous MGM Grand Lion Exhibit, which is closed. The cats now spend their retirement days at their peaceful 6 1/2-acre compound in the south valley. But life is not so quiet with the seven new cubs ruling the roost. It has definitely livened the place up for Keith and Beverly who want the public to realize that lions are social animals, not killers who deserve to be hunted as trophies.
“Our biggest job from day one was to convince people that there’s a value that these cats have,” says Keith. As long you respond the same way – the cats will respect you and respond the same way back. They’re very social animals. It’s when you don’t treat them with respect that you get in trouble. If you try to force them to do something – that’s why the habitat was a big thing – we never made them do circus acts.”
The ranch is open Friday through Monday, and if offering “Trainer for a Day” experiences, birthday parties with the cats peering in on your party, and of course the adorable cub photos. It’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of us!