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Busch Gardens visitors can soon watch and take part in the park's animal care

Busch Gardens visitors can soon watch and take part in the park's animal care

Tampa, FL -- 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 this winter.

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,” Mike Boos, vice president of zoological operations said in a release. “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.”

Moms, visit Lowry Park Zoo for free this weekend!

Moms, visit Lowry Park Zoo for free this weekend!

Tampa, FL -- Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is so wild about moms you can bring yours for free this weekend!

On Saturday, May 7 or Sunday, May 8, moms receive free Zoo admission and DinoQuest admission with the purchase of their son’s or daughter’s full-priced admission ticket (paid ticket can be child or adult admission, based on age). 

This is also the last weekend of DinoQuest at the Zoo, which ends its run after May 8.

Introduce your mom to some of the newest moms who live at the Zoo: A trio of female yellow-footed rock wallabies have become first time mothers, just in time for Mother’s Day.  The marsupial moms – known as Mum, Daisy and Thumper – arrived at the Zoo last year and have conceived three female joeys in various stages of development.

Busch Gardens' new baby aardvark is one of only 35 in nation

Busch Gardens' new baby aardvark is one of only 35 in nation

According to the Busch Gardens Tampa blog, the now-famous adorable baby cheetah isn't the only tiny creature joining the team - a new baby aardvark will be living at Busch Gardens, too!

Here's what the blog tells us:

"Now, guests to Busch Gardens’ Jambo Junction will have the opportunity to see something quite rare: a baby aardvark. The young male aardvark was born at Busch Gardens on April 10. Busch Gardens’ animal care experts stepped in when they saw that the mother was not attentive.

There are only about 35 aardvarks in zoos in North America.With fewer than a dozen successful births each year, aardvark births are not common. They are solitary by nature, only Busch Gardens is home to a male and female, with the cub making three.

Big Cat Rescue launches app

Big Cat Rescue launches app

Tampa, Florida --  The Big Cat Rescue recently launched an app, putting 100 of their big cats right at your fingertips.

"The Big Cat app" can be downloaded from the iTunes Store for $1.99.

A large portion of the proceeds will go toward the Big Cat Rescue.

Animal expert Jack Hanna joins Busch Gardens for Earth Day

Animal expert Jack Hanna joins Busch Gardens for Earth Day

Busch Gardens welcomes celebrity animal expert Jack Hanna for an Earth Day celebration. “Jungle Jack” -- recognized world over for his deep knowledge of and boundless enthusiasm for wild animals and wildlife conservation – introduces guests to exotic and endangered animals in his own inimitable way during special shows and exclusive up-close encounters.

Animal shows take place daily in Stanleyville Theatre:

April 21: 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
April 22: 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
April 23: 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
April 24: 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

To learn more about a limited-time-only chance to spend a wild overnight adventure in the park with Hanna on April 23 - including meals, autograph sessions, wildlife adventures, and a movie - click here.

Cute koala comes to Lowry Park's Australian-themed area

Cute koala comes to Lowry Park's Australian-themed area

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo is excited to welcome a new Aussie addition – the Queensland koala to Wallaroo Station, the Zoo's 4.5 acre Australian-themed family area. Introducing "Dane," a handsome 2-year-old male koala.

His new habitat is comfortably situated next to the Zoo's Wallaby Walkabout, home to yellow-footed rock wallabies. Like the wallaby, koalas are marsupials - not bears, which means they carry their young in a pouch. Koalas are largely a solitary species. Their preference for lower humidity than our climate typically offers will be met by offering an indoor, climate-controlled exhibit.

Not only can you learn and play with Dane in person, you can head to the Lowry Park Zoo website to experience several interactive games online. Play 'The Aussie Treetop Adventure,' test your knowledge of koala trivia, make an origami koala, or just listen to the sounds of koalas "talking."

Busch Gardens' baby cheetah gets a new puppy pal!

Busch Gardens' baby cheetah gets a new puppy pal!

Tampa, FL -- Just a month after Busch Gardens took in a cheetah cub whose mother wasn’t caring for it, the park’s animal care team has identified the perfect four-legged friend for the 8-week-old cat: a 16-week-old female yellow Labrador puppy.

Photo Gallery: Baby cheetah's new puppy pal

The two were first introduced over the weekend and have been spending supervised play times together each day.

Eventually, the pair will live together and even travel together, helping the park’s education team teaching the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.

More: Busch Gardens welcomes new baby cheetah

To find out how you can name the cheetah and puppy click "Read More" below!