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Kasi wins Cutest Zoo Baby contest!

Kasi wins Cutest Zoo Baby contest!

Tampa, FL -- As if it's a surprise to anyone, but it's official, the results are in and Kasi has won the national BudgetTravel.com's poll for Cutest Zoo Baby.

Busch Gardens sends a thanks to all of their fans and friends who voted for the adorable, four-month old baby cheetah.

I think we can all agree this zoo baby is as cute as it gets!

Last day to vote for baby cheetah!

Last day to vote for baby cheetah!

Tampa, FL -- Today is the last day to vote for Kasi in Budget Travel's Cutest Zoo Baby contest!

Kasi is currently leading the poll with 43.2 pecent of the votes but Caspian the Eurasian Eagle Owl is nipping at his heels with 35.2 percent of the votes.

The results will be revealed tonight, July 6 at 10 p.m.

Click here to vote!

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Sea World & Busch Gardens grant $1 million to animals in need

Sea World & Busch Gardens grant $1 million to animals in need

Tampa, FL -- Animals in need and endangered species around the world will benefit from more than $1 million in grants awarded this year by the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

Since its creation eight years ago, the Fund has granted more than $8 million to protect wildlife and wild places.

The Fund approved grants to more than 100 wildlife protection projects including programs to reintroduce endangered cheetahs to the African wild, protect sea turtle nests across the world, educate and connect kids with the ocean, and help restore America’s fragile coasts.

“From big cats to penguins, these species are in dire need of help. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens work to educate and inspire guests to care about the plight of these animals, and these grants from the Fund support our conservation partners working in the field,” Brad Andrews, president and executive director of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and chief zoological officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment said in a release. “Together, we can make a world of difference for these extraordinary species that share our world.”

Highlights of the more than 100 projects and organizations include:

R & R Ranch offers summer camps for June

R & R Ranch offers summer camps for June

Lithia, FL -- R & R Ranch is offering horseback riding camps for the month of June with options ranging from day camps to 4-day camps.

Beginning campers can enjoy:

  • A daily ride
  • Lots of games
  • Swimming time in above ground pool
  • Education on grooming and care of horses and farm animals
  • Bounce castle
  • Sliding on the inflatable water slide
  • Movies & games in air conditioned camp house
  • Arts & crafts

New addition to Big Cat Rescue

New addition to Big Cat Rescue

Citrus Park -- The baby bobcat arrived at Tampa International Airport last night.

Big Cat Rescue, the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats, facilitated the another heart-warming rescue of a baby bobcat from Providence, Rhode Island.

The approximately 9-month-old bobcat kitten named Max has been at the center of a legal battle since he was eight weeks old.

Hatchling happiness at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Hatchling happiness at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa, FL -- Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo introduces African penguin chick number two who is one week old today!

“Thumbelina” and “Flannigan", the parents of the first chick (now 3 months old), added its sibling to the colony on May 19, 2011.

African penguins usually remain with a single partner for years, and typically produce two eggs per breeding season.

The Zoo anticipates its newest chick will nest with the parents for the first month, then be transitioned to zookeeper care to facilitate independence and learning to swim, before ultimately joining the colony on exhibit this summer. 

Adopt a giraffe at Lowry Park Zoo!

Adopt a giraffe at Lowry Park Zoo!

With more than 1,700 animal residents at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, you probably have a favorite. Now, you can adopt them through the Share the Care adoption program and make your visits to the Zoo even more special!

Your symbolic adoption helps to support expert animal care at the Zoo and global conservation efforts.

With different packages, like the "Colossal Cousins" or "Adopt-o-saurus Rex," animal lovers can spend $50 to 'adopt' a giraffe, white rhino, or even a styracosaurus.

The packages also earn adopters a variety of gifts, like plush toy animals, a personalized certificate, biographies on the species, photos and tickets to zoo events.