New State of the Art Facility Educates Guests,
Offers One-Of-A-Kind Access To Park’s World-Class Animal Care
TAMPA, Florida, USA – Busch Gardens will welcome guests to closely observe and even take part in the animal care experience when the Tampa park opens its new Animal Care & Nutrition Center in winter 2011. From nutrition to treatments, X-rays to surgeries, much of Busch Gardens’ animal care will be conducted in guest view in this new state-of-the-art facility.
“We are proud of the care we provide our animals,” said Mike Boos, vice president of zoological operations. “We welcome the opportunity to share our level of care with our guests, and to continue our mission of connecting guests to animals and the natural world. No other zoological facility will offer the unique, up-close experience that this new facility will offer.”
The new, nearly 16,000 square-foot facility will be built where the rhino exhibit is currently located in the Nairobi area of the park. The park’s current animal care center is located behind the scenes.
“What many people probably don’t realize is that our veterinarians, technicians and animal care staff spend most of their day confirming the health of our animals by doing preventative efforts such as annual physicals and checkups,” said Bill Street, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment Corporate Curator of Conservation and Education. “There are great lessons we can share with guests by offering this up-close look at our high level of animal care.”
The two major guest components of the new facility will be a nutrition center and treatment rooms. The nutrition center will feature a kitchen similar in set-up to a cooking show on television. Educators will lead demonstrations several times a day on the planning and preparation of animal diets. Guests will even have the chance to assist in preparing and doling out the range of food the park provides its animals, from fruits and vegetables to crickets and mealworms.
The treatment center will allow guests to watch as Busch Gardens’ skilled vets do preventative checkups, treatments and surgeries on animals. Guests will be able to see into the rooms through glass walls, and audio capabilities will allow guests to talk to vets working behind the glass. Cameras placed over the exam table will show unique vantage points to guests who can watch on monitors. During treatments and surgeries, zoo educators will also be on hand to talk about what’s taking place.
In addition to the guest views, the new facility will also include animal recovery rooms, vet offices and research stations.
Guests can also participate in a diagnostic exercise by scanning an interactive activity card at several stations as they follow an animal from diagnosis to treatment to blood and lab work to a final outcome.
Busch Gardens, and its parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, are world leaders in animal care. We care for more than 60,0000 animals, one of the world’s largest zoological collections. Busch Gardens Tampa cares for more than 2,000 animals representing 307 species.