Florida Man to Live in Lionís Den!

How far would you go to raise money for a cause?  A Florida man, James Jablon, has decided to walk in to a lion’s den – literally — for a month!

Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando (WROH) started out providing medical care for wild animals with the goal of releasing back to the wild.  It is a noble cause.  The problem is, Jablon has a hard time saying ‘no’ when people ask him to keep exotic pets that are no longer welcome in their home.

Feeding costs and medical expenses for the 100 animals on site are quite costly.  WROH works entirely from donations.  The economy being what it is, Jablon decided to take an unorthodox approach to fundraising.

So at midnight on New Year’s Eve, he entered the enclosed 3,000 square foot lion’s den in his back yard.  He intends to stay there until January 31, eating, sleeping and playing with his two lions, Ed and Lea.

The lions are not full grown and are familiar with Jablon which is why he feels safe with them.  Live streaming video will be broadcast.  Be patient – WROH does not have broadband and sometimes the link is unavailable if a large number of viewers are watching simultaneously.  Try a bit later.

“If the lions were fully grown I wouldn’t be doing this” says Jablon.  “I feel they are still at the size and development stage where I can control them but, yes, they’re big, and I have to take great care.”

The 46 year old is quoted as saying, “I may have to construct a bed in one of the trees, just out of their reach or come up with another idea, depending on what they make of me being there. After all, lions generally sleep for 18-20 hours a day so I’m going to be getting a lot of rest,” said Jablon.

“But I’ll be ever-vigilant and I will have a small fenced-off safety area in the corner if it looks like they’re getting too aggressive or I feel things are getting too dangerous.”

Bravery or foolhardy?  Perhaps simply a desperate effort to help a cause. 

Flickr: Douglas Muth

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Lorraine Andersen

I volunteer for a 501C3 in florida and we have the same problem We are asked to take unwanted large cats who have been purchased as pets and for one reason or another or no longer wanted. We are basically told that if we don't take the cats, they will be euthanized, but the state of florida does not offer assistance. They are very willing to tell us what type of enlcoseure has to be built to house these recuses, but no help is offered to help built that encloseure nor for the animals ongoing care, those are out of pocket expenses for the people who run the sanctuaries. More times than not funding is very tight. I totaly understand why he is doing it and I wish him the best of luck with his fund raising.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran4 years ago


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

I don't think he's crazy. His back is to the wall, RE: finances. He is making precautions to protect himself.

Good luck, James.

Craig Laurent

Well, the cause would have to be a really good one!

Joy Jin
Joy Jin4 years ago

I'd really like to say that I would but I think that I'd be too scared.
But I would.

.4 years ago

What a shame that so many media outlets have picked up this story. It's tantamount to endorsing this dangerous publicity stunt.

This seems to be nothing more than an irresponsible, out-of-work man who is hoarding exotic animals and trying to raise money to support his habit. Rather than donating money to reputable wildlife organizations working desperately to save these animals in the wild, people are being duped to support this.

This should be a crime! He is encouraging "copycats" which will lead to more out-of-control breeding of big cats. What will his next money making stunt idea be??

The future for these animals is bleak. I feel sorry for them……certainly not for him!

Madeline KM
Madeline KM4 years ago

I'd live with lions without a case, if they were already there and I wasn't doing any damage.

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan4 years ago

Read with prayers for his safety!

Cristina Medina
Cristina M.4 years ago

I hope he gets tons of money. He's help these animals.

Kelly Stephens
Kelly Stephens4 years ago

very cool, i'm envious!