The Lion 360 experience at Monarto Zoo has celebrated a milestone, just in time for World Lion Day.
The enclosure, built with inspiration from shark cage diving, allows visitors to emerge from a tunnel into the middle of the lion pride, just a few bars separating them from the animals.
Monarto Zoo Director Peter Clark said the popularity of the experience has educated thousands of people about the plight of African Lions in the wild.
"It's really special we've been able to exceed the 10,000 milestone on World Lion Day; we're just so excited we've been able to teach so many people about lion conservation," Peter said.
"Guaranteed to leave you in even more awe than when you entered, our innovative Lions 360 adventure experience sees visitors walk through a tunnel and emerge in the habitat within a clawing range of one of Australia's largest African Lion prides.
The experience, which opened just 9 months ago, welcomed its 10,000th visitor, keepers delighted that so many are taking the plunge and facing their fears.
"Visitors feel their hearts pound and the hairs on their neck stand on end as they fight every instinct to turn and run the other way.
"While the lions are the true stars of the show, it's an educational experience with our keepers and tour hosts engaging the public about the plight of lions in the wild," Peter said.