Trainer Katie Massey plays with 8-week-old lions at the Lion Habitat at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Friday, June 17, 2011.
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 | 8:02 p.m.
The lions will roar no more at MGM Grand.
On Tuesday night, the big cats ended their 12-year run at the casino, which is getting rid of their glass-encased, indoor habitat as part of an ongoing $160 million renovation.
The lion habitat opened in 1999. Twenty lions rotate in and out of the exhibit, where they nap, wrestle and play.
Now they will return to The Cat House, an 8.5-acre ranch outside Las Vegas where they live with trainer and habitat designer, Keith Evans. He cares for 40 lions that have appeared at the hotel.
The lion has been a part of MGM’s brand for decades, and Evans’ lions are reportedly descendants of Leo, the most recent lion mascot used by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
Lion Habitat To honor the lion and help safeguard its preservation for future generations, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has created a one-of-a-kind Lion Habitat as a showcase for public education and appreciation for this majestic creature of nature. The lion has been a part of the MGM heritage for many years, beginning with the legendary Leo, whose roars have welcomed generations of moviegoers to epics of the silver screen.
The lions live in custom accommodations on an 8.5-acre ranch 12 miles from the MGM Grand. They are owned and cared for by noted feline expert Keith Evans, who has been training exotic animals for more than 30 years.
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