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Soon, Jungala's wild kingdom at Busch Gardens

By MARK ALBRIGHT, Times Staff Writer
Published March 7, 2008


Sam Dunn of A Thru Z Consulting works on a picture window at Jungala's orangutan habitat. Ventilation built between layers of glass circulate cool air that's supposed to coax animals to snooze close by on hot days.

photo
[Carrie Pratt | Times]
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photo
[Carrie Pratt | Times]
Workers prepare the net-climbing playground.

photo
[Carrie Pratt | Times]
Lushly landscaped Jungala is themed with bold-colored artwork created by earlier inhabitants, as the theme park story goes.

Workers are putting the finishing touches on Jungala, Busch Gardens' new $40-million home for a dozen tigers, six orangutans and assorted gibbons and flying fox bats. Next week the new residents arrive to get settled for the April 5 opening. The habitats provide eight times the space for the park's expanded orangutan collection and three times the room on multiple levels for the tigers to roam. The multilevel habitats are designed to stimulate animals to be active. They also are designed to require a leap greater than 25 feet to escape, double zoo guidelines. Visitors will be able to get closer to the animals, thanks to more than a dozen glass windows that provide eye-level views as well as glimpses from above, below and underwater (tigers and orangutans do not fear water). Tigers are being trained to pull a rope that visitors tug from outside their enclosure. Jungala also will offer the park's first family sky shot and drop ride, a three-story children's net-climbing playground, and a zip-line that takes kids 14 or younger on a hang glider suspended from a cable.

[Last modified March 6, 2008, 23:21:29]


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