‘Great victory’ as plans to create new lion den in Strelley approved

A lion keeper from Strelley says he is “very pleased” after plans to build a new lions’ den and extend one of his enclosures were approved.

Mr Oliver, a licensed zoo keeper, looks after two African lions called Rocky and Rora in an enclosure, alongside a Canadian puma called Rogue.

He recently featured in documentaries by Ross Kemp and Stacey Dooley, offering an inside look into his world and introduced the world to the animals he keeps in the village.

He had plans to extend his enclosure which were approved by Broxtowe Borough Council in March this year.

Now, months later, the council has again approved plans – this time to construct a new lions’ den, extend an enclosure and also construct a stable extension.

Mr Oliver says the latest plans are essential for “animal welfare and security reasons” and should be granted in relation to previous plans already approved by the council.

Mr Oliver told Nottinghamshire Live: “I’m really pleased – it’s a great victory really for the lions we have here.

“They can now enjoy one of the bigger enclosures in the UK.

“We needed to expand what we had and make it better, even though it’s well above the minimum space required, we wanted to go well beyond that and get the best enclosure possible for them.”



Reece Oliver pictured beside his big cat enclosure in Strelley Village.
Reece Oliver pictured beside his big cat enclosure in Strelley Village.

The application to the council states: “The two lions on the site are currently housed in one of the converted horse boxes within the stable. The proposal to construct a separate lions’ den is designed to allow easier access to an enlarged enclosure area as the lions approach a mature size and need more space for animal welfare reasons

“The proposal involves the erection of 3m high wooden fence posts at 4m centres and connected with high security steel mesh wire fencing similar to that used in many zoos.

“It will have steel crank topped brackets connected by 5 strands of steel wire to prevent climbing. The fence follows the outer perimeter of the field directly north of the stables and will contain the current caged area.

“This form of fencing is widely used in safari parks and zoos elsewhere in the UK.”

Broxtowe Borough Council’s planning committee approved Mr Oliver’s plans on September 20.