Busch Gardens Tampa Closes Jambo Junction Exhibit
Earlier this week the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens chain announced multiple layoffs throughout their entire chain of parks. Many of these layoffs included zoological employees, and the sudden closure of the interactive Jambo Junction exhibit at Busch Gardens Tampa.
Jambo Junction was a small exhibit in Nairobi area of the park with opportunities to feed flamingos, sloths, and even baby alligators. Part of the exhibit was indoors and could be viewed from behind glass. Some of the parks exclusive behind-the-scenes tours also took place here.
The Jambo Junction page has already been removed from the park’s website, but here is an old page describing it, from the Busch Gardens Tampa Blog. There is a small movement on social media sites to re-open Jambo Junction, with the hashtag #SaveJambo. It can still be found on the front of the park maps for the time being.
Busch Gardens has released the following statement.
“Jambo Junction is closed as we are always evolving how we deliver our park attractions and experiences. Busch Gardens continues to offer guests dozens of ways to engage with thousands of animals in our world-class habitats, including interactions at our state-of-the art Animal Care Center; up-close encounters with a variety of animals on our 60-acre Serengeti Plain and Edge of Africa habitats; unique tours like the Serengeti Safari; and educational programs like Keeper Talks, Zoo School and Adventure Camps.
“We are an animal-focused company at heart and are consistently looking at new ways to bring that vision to life in our parks. As with other attractions that change over time, the closure of any area of the park is considered against a number of factors including its popularity when compared to other attractions. We remain committed to a continued focus on the guest experience, the safety of our guests and team members, and the health and welfare of the animals that call Busch Gardens Tampa Bay home.
“Nothing is more important than the wellbeing of our animals and we are planning to find them homes within the park or at other accredited facilities.”
The flamingos are still on display, however the rest of the exhibit is behind walls. As mentioned in the statement, Busch Gardens is working to move the animals from Jambo Junction into other areas of the park. If that is not an option, they will be moved to other facilities outside Busch Gardens.
On Tuesday, SeaWorld Entertainment announced a corporate restructuring program that would eliminate 320 positions across all 12 parks, which include SeaWorld parks in Orlando; San Antonio, Texas; and San Diego; Busch Gardens parks in Florida and Virginia; and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. The layoffs were part of an effort to reduce costs and definitely a hard move for the zoological department, but these were what he park says was necessary for future growth for the company.
For more information including tickets, visit the official Busch Gardens website by clicking here.
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