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Jeans distressed by lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Real, live lions and tigers and bears tore up a bunch of denim fabric to make limited edition distressed jeans.

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

You might think pre-ripped jeans kind of defeats the purpose of buying new clothes -- but what if those rips had been caused by the teeth and claws of dangerous animals?

A limited edition range of jeans -- called Zoo Jeans -- did just that. Created at the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City, Japan by local volunteer group the Mineko Club, the jeans are created from denim that has been savaged by the zoo's lions, tigers, and bears.

First, the denim was wrapped and stitched around the animals' favourite toys: old tyres and giant rubber balls. These were then placed in their zoo enclosures, where they were subjected to some vigorous -- and curious -- rough-housing, as the animals explored the strangely wrapped objects.

The denim was then retrieved, washed, and stitched into three pairs of jeans, two created by lions and one created by tigers. The group did not specify why the bears' denim didn't get used, but we suspect the bears might have had a little too much fun with it.

Alas, they're not available for sale: they were auctioned in Japan to raise money both for the zoo and for the World Wildlife Fund.

Check out how they were made in the video below.