Reaction of lions to a man in a motorized cage

I'm not quite sure what's going on here. This photo (sourced to AP Wirephoto) ran in various papers (such as here) on June 26, 1963. It had the following caption:

The inmates watch curiously as a Ueno Zoo employee tries a cagey experiment in the lions' den in Tokyo. Completely guarded by iron framework for his physical well-being, the man rides a gasoline-driven engine in an experiment to study the reaction of the lions.

And that's it. I've been unable to find out anything else about this strange experiment. But I'd like to know why exactly the zoo was curious about how lions would react to a guy driving around in a motorized cage?
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 13, 2016
     Category: Animals | Experiments | 1960s

Reminds me of that thing the kids rode around in in the movie Jurassic World.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/13/16 at 01:23 PM
This is the same Ueno Zoo that had to destroy its animals ahead of a possible WWII strike, which might cause the animals to escape and wreak havoc on the citizens.
Posted by Greg on 09/13/16 at 06:37 PM
It should be similar to the way we react to a housecat riding on a Roomba.
Posted by Joshua Zev Levin, Ph.D. on 09/13/16 at 08:53 PM
This might have been a test for the kind of zoo where the animals roam mostly free and the humans are put in a bus with a caged top to visit them in their habitat.
Posted by Yudith on 09/14/16 at 11:44 AM
I'm thinking of Sylvester and Tweety ...
Posted by KDP on 09/14/16 at 01:49 PM
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