Alexander Pylyshenko, the owner of a private zoo in the Zaporozhye region of Ukraine, has announced he plans to spend a year caged with two full-grown lions, in order to raise funds for a proper care center for big cats.
If this story sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because this wouldn’t be Alexander Pylyshenko first such attempt. Back in 2011 he set a new Ukrainian record, after he spent 35 days caged with two lions, during which time he even helped the female deliver her cubs. From the moment he set foot into the cage, the feline lover started living as if he was a lion himself. That meant sharing the raw meat the lions were fed with and sleeping on hay beds. He even built a toilet and shower inside the enclosure so he wouldn’t be forced to leave the cage at any moment. This time however, he plans on living with male Samson and lioness Katya for a full year, so he needs to plan accordingly. Alexander, who has studied lions his whole life, decided to spend time with his two fanged pets both inside their metal cage and in his nearby country house, where he’ll be able to cook. The Ukrainian beast-master says that although his lions consume between 5 and 10 pounds of meat per day, depending on the season, Katya has developed a taste for his cooking and enjoys mushroom soup and tomatoes with mayonnaise.
Photo: Dmitry Smolenko
The first time he decided to live with his lions, Alexander Pylyshenko wanted to raise awareness to the poor treatment of big cats in captivity, but this time he hopes to raise enough money to build a rehabilitation center for large felines. He wants to earn the sympathy of animal lovers around the world and reach a set goal of 365,000 UAH ($45,000) needed to fulfill his dream. To prove his experiment is 100% genuine, Alexander plans to broadcast it live on his website – homezoo.com.ua – where people can tune in and check if he’s still in one piece. He also wants to use this time as an opportunity to write a book on lions and paint portraits of them.
Photo: Alexander Duz