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Lions in the Casino

Here at the MGM Grand

The pitch meeting probably went something like this:

   “I want ideas, and I want them now! Mendelson, what do you think would bring more people into our fine hotel and casino here at the MGM Grand?” Blustered the brash boss.

   Looking around the room, Mendelson fidgeted in his seat, and before he could fully formulate a thought, the timid young executive blurted out the first thing that came to his mind. “Um… lions sir?”

   “Ferocious, carnivorous lions in a wildly popular casino, Mendelson?” The boss would incredulously inquire.

   “Um… yes sir… I believe that’s pretty much the only kind of lions I’ve ever heard about.” The jittery middle manager would gulp.

      The domineering head honcho would then stare right through Mendelson, and remove the pricey cigar from between his clenched teeth, fresh saliva dangling from the wet end. The master of all he surveyed would take a step, then spin around on his fine Italian heels, and once again and skeptically pry, “Are you telling me, that it’s your opinion that to attract more people to our hotel- elderly women and tiny children stay here mind you- You suggest we throw a couple of 8 foot-long, man-eating African lions right smack dab in the middle of hundreds of patrons?”

   “Um… yeah.” A sweaty Mendelson would relent.

    “I love it!” Exclaimed the boss. “Mendelson I’m promoting you to Head Idea Guy, Richardson, you’re fired! Clean out your desk immediately. You never thought of lions in a casino! What kind of Head Idea Guy are you anyway, Richardson? Get out of my sight, you disgust me.”

   And now here are some actual facts about the Lion Habitat at the MGM Grand:

   At this time there are 34 different lions that rotate in and out of the Habitat. The lions live on an eight-acre ranch in town called, “The Cat House.”

  Each lion is given a special bath and shampoo to prepare for their visit to the casino. If a lion is “acting up” during bath time, owner and trainer Keith Evans does not allow that lion to travel to the casino on that day. The lions are never inside the MGM casino habitat longer than a few hours, and spend a number of days at the ranch in between appearances.

   Adult male lions weigh on average more than 500 pounds, and the biggest lion at the MGM is just over 600 pounds.

   The glass “cage” the lions are displayed in, is made up of 5 separate planes of bulletproof plexiglass, which is so thick the lions cannot smell the various restaurants or otherwise edible people, nor can they hear the constant clanging of the slot machines.

   The temperature is controlled at a constant 70-75 degrees with 50% humidity, which is much more to the lion’s liking than even their native Africa.

   Lions sleep from 18-20 hours a day, or about the time most first-time visitors to Vegas stay at the same roulette table that has been beating them all day.

   And now one fact that probably did not happen:

   For his complete lack of forethought and utter incompetence, Richardson was fed to the lions.