"ARTIS without lions is like Amsterdam without Ajax"

Published on Wednesday, October 4News

If you would be a warm-blooded lion in our cold or soaking wet little country…. Today, October 3, the ARTIS lions might have wanted to stay indoors, but that turned out differently. They made an appearance (attracted with delicious fresh meat) at their house warming. There were festivities all day long to celebrate the fact that, after years of preparations, the old, almost 100-year-old lion enclosure was said goodbye.

The three moved into their much larger new home. There they can climb, run, chill on heated rocks and look out over the city and ARTIS itself. As befits a king and queens of the animal kingdom. One of the lionesses demonstrated how skillfully she could eat a hanging piece of meat, the other showed off her skills on the balance beam. The man in the group mainly wandered around the highest parts of the enclosure. You can also come there as a visitor, so that you can admire these enormous animals up close.

And now it’s just beginning, according to landscape architect Thijs de Zeeuw, who designed the enclosure and has previously done so for the elephants and cranes. “You shouldn’t think that you know everything, and you can’t ask a lion where he sees his nice lying spot,” says De Zeeuw. “The best thing you can do is just offer as much as possible and let them figure it out on their own.”

The public was particularly enthusiastic about the new accommodation. Given the joint efforts to preserve the lions and give them a nicer home, ARTIS’ supporters support the words of Sjaak Swart: “ARTIS without lions is like Amsterdam without Ajax”. Rembrandt Sutorius, director of ARTIS, concluded his speech with this statement… and then added after a short pause: “The lions have been saved. Now for Ajax……”. After which the lions were released from their enclosure.

ARTIS lion enclosure, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40