Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel Will Close Lion Habitat In 2012

This is very sad news for families and Vegas lovers! The MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas has announced that they will be closing their Lion Habitat on January 31, 2012.

Yesterday, resort officials announced that their iconic lion habitat will permanently close their doors.
No word as to what will replace the $9 million, 5,000-square-foot, glass-encased structure.

“That is part of an overall property-wide renovation project,” MGM Resorts spokeswoman Yvette Monet said. “There are going to be significant changes in the casino and hotel.”

The lion habitat has been loved by many since they opened their doors in 1999. Twenty lions rotated in and out of the exhibit, napping, playing and wrestling. The exhibit was a free feature at the hotel where visitors were able to view them through a glass tunnel or from the perimeter of the habitat.

In February, the lions will make their return to an 8.5-acre ranch outside Las Vegas called The Cat House, where they will live with trainer and habitat designer Keith Evans. According to the Las Vegas Sun, he cares for 40 lions that have appeared at the hotel at some point in their lives.