TAMPA, Fla. (August 8, 2013) – In recognition of World Lion Day on August 10, guests are invited to join a weekend-long celebration at Busch Gardens® Tampa. On August 10 and 11, guests can come out to the lion habitat at the Edge of Africa area of the park to enjoy cake, see the lions discover wrapped presents, meat ice pops and a cake of their own, prepared by their keepers and the nutrition staff here at Busch Gardens.
World Lion Day is the first global campaign to celebrate the importance of the lion worldwide. The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has supported various projects that help protect these magnificent animals over in Africa, including Ewaso Lions, the Niassa Lions Project, the African Predator Conservation Research Organization and Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation and Research Unit (WildCru). Several of these projects include educating the native people to coexist with lion prides.
On Saturday and Sunday guests can enjoy special keeper talks and appearances by all six of Busch Gardens lions, including the three new cubs, Kembe, Shtuko and Shaba.
Lion Cubs First Cake
To prepare for the weekend of festivities, Busch Gardens culinary manager Chef Michael Craig partnered with the Zoo Education team to prepare a “meat cake fit for a king.” Saturday morning, the cake will be displayed on the habitat for the new cubs, Kembe, Shtuko and Shaba to discover and enjoy. There will also be complimentary cake, served on a first-come, first-served basis, for guests during this time.
Iris and Rose’s Birthday
The World Lion Day festivities continue into Sunday with the celebration of Iris and Rose’s seventh birthday. The lionesses will be joined by Busch Gardens’ male lion, Simon, who also celebrated his seventh birthday earlier this year.
Stop by the Edge of Africa to find out what it’s like to be a lion at Busch Gardens. The animal care team will demonstrate how they work with lions from feedings to enrichment to playtime.
Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™, one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a worldwide leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for one of the largest animal collections on the North American continent and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations.