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Is this the mane road? Family car is surrounded by lions at British safari park


When you are driving around a safari park, there is no doubt you want to get up close to the interesting animals loping around the grounds.

But the occupants of this Ford were probably not expecting to have quite such a close view as they made their way through Knowsley Safari Park.

The expression on their faces is sadly not visible as their small vehicle is surrounded by no less than 10 lions who live there.

But you can bet they had the windows and locks tightly closed just in case one of the animals became over-cautious and moved even closer.

The park in Merseyside now boasts a 20-strong pride of lions of varying ages thanks to a successful breeding programme that produced a new litter a few months ago.

Staff are keeping their fingers crossed that the lions will prove a big draw over the Easter weekend and through the summer, especially now that so many families are holidaying in the UK because of the recession.

Park manager David Ross said: ‘I’ve been here since the park opened in 1971, and since day one the opportunity to get up close and personal with the big cats has been the essence of the Safari Park experience.

‘I’m sure that the sheer number of lions we now have in the Knowsley pride will prove to be the biggest wow factor of the summer with our visitors.’

Set in a 550-acre part on the Earl of Derby’s estate, the park has been an attraction for more than 35 years. Visitors can enjoy a five-mile safari drive through the various enclosures.

Other animals to be seen include rhinos, camels, buffalo, bison, wildebeest, lions, tigers, zebras, monkeys, antelope and baboons.

The lion cubs are also not the only babies currently at the park – it also has three new baby white rhinos called Flannery, Cara and Kimba which are now on view for the first time.



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