A zoo in Chile gives thrill seekers a chance to tickle a lion's belly or touch its deadly claws – from the safety of a cage mounted on a safari truck.

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A lion licks a safari park ranger's handAFP

Welcome to the Parque Safari zoo in Rancagua in central Chile, where vehicles take visitors on a drive through a five-acre enclosure that is home to six lions.

Visitors ride inside a cage on the back of the truck, and hunks of raw meat are thrown onto the top of the cage.

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A lion stands on the cage of a vehicle at the Safari Lion Zoo in Rancagua, ChileAFP
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A lion standing on a cage looks down at the children in the vehicle belowAFP
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A male lion stands on top of a vehicle at the safari parkAFP
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Children watch a lion standing on the cage around their vehicleAFP

Then it's up to the lions to decide what they want to do: climb on the vehicle to eat the meat and look at the cowering humans below, or just lie down for a rest.

Visitors who are feeling brave can stick their fingers through the bars to stroke or prod the big cats.

The idea is for people to see wildlife in their natural habitat, in effect with the people caged up rather than the animals themselves.

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Meals on wheels?AFP
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A lion jumps from one vehicle to anotherAFP
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Tourists look at a lion standing on top of a cage on a vehicle at the Safari Lion Zoo in Rancagua, ChileAFP