Five cheetahs recently arrived at the park in accordance with the international cheetah Species Survival Plan. Next spring, Steelman, a 12-year-old male, Ngoma, a 10-year-old female, and littermates Jagati, Iraja and Juno – all born in October 2009 – will be part of Cheetah Run, the innovative new habitat opening alongside the Cheetah Hunt launch coaster that will bring guests face to face with these agile predators and teach them about cheetahs’ plight in the wild.
During the Endangered Species Safari encounter, guests will learn that while these five cats came from the White Oak Conservation Center in Jacksonville, FL, their wild cousins are highly endangered. There are less than 10,000 cheetahs left in the world, and repopulation is made difficult by low birth rates and many natural and man-made threats to their survival.
Busch Gardens’ zoo educators will also talk about the efforts of the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which has donated almost $100,000 to cheetah efforts in Africa since 2005 and also helps fund conservation programs for white rhinos, marine animals and many other species around the world.
The 45-minute Endangered Species Safari also includes up-close encounters with giraffes, zebra and rhinos on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain. The experience is $39.95 per person, plus tax, and park admission is required, but not included.
I haven’t personally been on this safari, yet…but I would love to go! To book an Endangered Species Safari, click here or call 1-888-800-5447.