16th January, 2012...Busch Gardens in Florida will open its veterinary doors giving visitors the chance to observe and even take part in procedures for the first time ever at its new Animal Care Centre. Opening 23rd January, the centre deals with all types of animal care from nutrition to treatments, X-rays to surgeries, which will be conducted in guest view in this new state-of-the-art facility.
Animal lovers who are visiting the park, will have free admission to the centre, which allows guests to experience what it’s like to work on the wild side, getting up-close and hands on with a host of animals from tigers to toads.
The new facility includes a nutrition centre, treatment rooms, a clinical lab and an interactive diagnostic activity, along with further treatment rooms behind the scenes. The Nutrition Centre will feature a specially designed kitchen, where educators will lead demonstrations several times a day on the planning and preparation of animal diets. Guests will even have the chance to assist preparing and doling out the range of food the park provides its animals, from fruits and vegetables to crickets and even mealworms, these nutrition demonstrations will take place during scheduled times each day.
The Treatment Centre will allow budding vets to watch as Busch Gardens’ skilled veterinarian 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 animal enthusiasts 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.
In the Clinical Lab, staff will perform tests on samples collected from the animals, such as blood, urine, and faeces, using the same types of laboratory equipment used in human hospitals. A camera connected to the laboratory’s microscope will allow guests to see exactly what the staff looking under the microscope see.
Science lovers 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.
“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 can offer the unique, up-close experience that this new facility will provide.”
Busch Gardens, and its parent company, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, are world leaders in animal care, caring for more than 60,000 animals, one of the world’s largest zoological collections. Busch Gardens Tampa cares for more than 2,000 animals representing 307 species.