Full of beans

Lions wake up and smell the coffee at the Ramat Gan Safari

Big cats filmed rolling around in powdered coffee provided by keepers to encourage animals to behave as they would in nature

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

The phrase “wake up and smell the coffee” took on new meaning at the Ramat Gan Safari near Tel Aviv this week when the zoo’s lions got a morning whiff of the powdered black gold.

But for the predatory felines, strong-smelling coffee was something not to sip, but rather to roll around in to cover their bodily scents from prey.

After their keeper, Yifat, had spread black coffee on the ground and released them from their night enclosure, the big cats spent more than a half hour making sure that they smelled of coffee.

It’s the same instinct that encourages domestic dogs to roll around in the stinkiest places while out on a walk.

Yifat, a keeper at the Ramat Gan Safari, near Tel Aviv, spreads coffee powder on a jute sack for the lions. (Screenshot)

The idea was one of many that safari staff think up to encourage the animals to behave as they would do in nature.

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