Busch Gardens will welcome guests to closely observe and even take part in the animal care experience when the Tampa park opens its new Animal Care & Nutrition Center this winter. From nutrition to treatments, X-rays to surgeries, much of Busch Gardens' animal care will be conducted in guest view in this new state-of-the-art facility.

The new, nearly 16,000 square-foot facility will be built where the rhino exhibit is currently located in the Nairobi area of the park. The park's current animal care center is located behind the scenes.

The two major guest components of the new facility will be a nutrition center and treatment rooms. The nutrition center will feature a kitchen similar in set-up to a cooking show on television. Educators will lead demonstrations several times a day on the planning and preparation of animal diets. Guests will even have the chance to assist in preparing and doling out the range of food the park provides its animals, from fruits and vegetables to crickets and mealworms.

The treatment center will allow guests to watch as Busch Gardens' skilled vets do preventative checkups, treatments and surgeries on animals. Guests will be able to see into the rooms through glass walls, and audio capabilities will allow guests to talk to vets working behind the glass. Cameras placed over the exam table will show unique vantage points to guests who can watch on monitors. During treatments and surgeries, zoo educators will also be on hand to talk about what's taking place.

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