Busch Gardens closes Jambo Junction

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Officials with Busch Gardens confirmed Thursday Jambo Junction has been closed.

“Jambo Junction is closed as we are always evolving how we deliver our park attractions and experiences,” a spokesperson said. “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.”

The news about Jambo Junction came several days after SeaWorld announced job cuts. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is eliminating 320 jobs across its 12-park company.

Company officials said Tuesday in a statement that the goal of the restructuring is to eliminate costs and improve the company’s operations.

SeaWorld’s attendance and revenue have suffered in the face of a campaign by animal-rights activists.

Jambo Junction let visitors behind the scenes, according to the Orlando Tourist Information Bureau. People could see the animal care facilities.

The Orlando tourism website describes the Jambo Junction experience. The site says:

“The animals you’ll get to meet will vary on the day of your visit, but can include flamingos, lemurs, sloths, flemish rabbits, tarantulas, armadillos and several other species. The animal ambassadors will be brought out one by one and you’ll be in a small group where you can get close to each animal.”

In August a flamingo named Pinky died after being attacked in the Jambo Junction animal viewing area. Investigators say 45-year-old Joseph Anthony Corrao was with his family when he picked up and threw Pinky to the ground.

Pinky had made many appearances across the Tampa Bay area as a part of the park’s conservation and education efforts.


Here is the full Busch Gardens statement on the closure:

“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.”

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