Zoo Says You Can Now Sleep With The Lions ... But You Probably Shouldn't

On Thursday, the ZSL London Zoo announced plans to give guests an close-up view of what it's like to be a zoo animal - by building a hotel in the midst of its lion cages.

The accommodations will be located within the Land of the Lionsexhibit, the zoo's latest expansion, set to open in the spring of 2016.

The new enclosure will give the lions 2,500 square meters to roam and "claim areas as their own," says the zoo's website.

While that's five times larger than their previous enclosure, it doesn't compare to life in the wild. In their natural habitat in Africa, lions typically roam territories as large as 100 square miles.

The hotel within the zoo's walls will be called the Gir Lion Lodge, and while it is fenced off from the lion's quarters, it's still "within roaring distance," according to the zoo's website.

In addition to sleeping near the zoo's lions, guests can arrange for other services from the zoo's hotel, including a "meet the animals experience" and a "torchlight walk." All starting at around $570 a night.

Located in the heart of the city - not far off from the bustling Kings Cross - the London Zoo was first created in 1828 as a center for scientific study. But since 1847, its doors have been open to the public.

The recent announcement comes after years of criticism from activists who say the zoo has failed to properly care for its animals. One activist went so far as to say that the zoo is "a sign of our failure as a species."

While some despise the zoo for representing an outdated way of treating animals, others find the prospect of sleeping in the zoo appealing. "Awesome" one fan commented on the zoo's Facebook page. "Could do this as your honeymoon," said another.

The zoo boasts a unique experience, and that's certainly true. But while guests may be expecting a glimpse in the life of a wild lion, what they're paying for is a closer look at captivity in an urban zoo.