Southern Oregon Lion Encounter & Safari Opens To The Public

Oregon based Walking With Lions now accepting reservations for lion encounters and lodging for the 2015 season

Online PR News – 28-January-2015 – Phoenix, OR – Big cat lovers across the United States now have a rare opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at an African Lion pride at Southern Oregon's newest travel destination, Walking With Lions. Founded by world renowned animal behaviorist Brian McMillan, the 42-acre compound offers safari- style cottage rentals which overlook the lion habitat, as well as the opportunity to get up close and personal with Lufuno, a rare male White Lion. Lufuno is Oregon's only White Lion, and according to recent estimates by The Global White Lion Trust, one of only 400 (approximately) in captivity. McMillan, who began work on the facility in 2013, is excited to open the encounter to help bring attention to the decline of the African Lion, as well as showcase all that Southern Oregon has to offer.

"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recent petition to list the African Lion as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, opens the door to allow the U.S. government to provide resources to conservation efforts in Africa," said McMillan. He hopes the opportunity to see these magnificent animals up close will help turn the public's attention to conservation efforts. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the African Lion could face extinction by the year 2050.

The Walking With Lions experience is centrally located in Southern Oregon, minutes from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR, and walking distance to local wineries. Two brand new safari-themed guest cottages await guests, complete with high speed Internet, luxury organic linens/robes, sitting area, coffee maker, and of course... views of the lions. McMillan also offers a 1-hour private lion encounter where guests can get up close and personal with the big cats, including Lufuno, a full grown male White Lion and the patriarch of the pride. "We bring guests behind-the-scenes to see how we care for, feed, and enrich the lion's lives on a daily basis," said McMillan. Guests get to witness a live feeding, agility demonstration, and witness the strong bond that exists between Brian and the lions.

The natural beauty, recreation, weather, and convenient access that Southern Oregon provides were all big reasons Brian chose his Phoenix, OR location. He noted, "We are minutes away from world class wineries, fishing, dining and entertainment. We give people the chance to get away on safari, while enjoying the luxuries of a modern hotel." The location can also be rented for corporate events, weddings and parties.

Walking With Lions and McMillan are longtime members of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA). The facility is fully permitted and regulated by local and federal agencies including Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and USDA, and is located just minutes off Hwy 5. Rogue Valley International airport is just 8 miles away, offering non-stop flights via major carriers like Alaskan Airlines, United, Delta and Allegiant.

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