A Lion simulation


I am interested in creating a realstic lion simulation. Have you ever played lion(1996) on DosBox? It is like that except 3D and is hyper realistic. Have you ever played or heard of Afrika (on PS3. Highly recommend looking it up)? The realism and textures in that game i wish to adopt.

However, I have problem getting started. Does anyone know of a plan to make this game in an efficient manner? For example, modeling tutorials, free realistic animal models, references, other simulation game examples, etc.

Thank you!

Any help is appreciated.