Busch Gardens on Monday opens a new kangaroo and wallaby habitat as the last stage in perking up the Tampa theme park's bird gardens. Called Walkabout Way, center stage is Kangaloom, which features the park's first red and grey kangaroos. Those who choose not to watch timed trainer feedings can buy their own feed at $5 a cup. The enclosure is open enough to permit feeding and touching the furry critters.
Busch also added kookaburra, magpie geese, black swan and other Australian species to the bird collection in the adjacent aviary. The park calls itself Busch Gardens Africa, but that's only to distinguish the Tampa park from its corporate sibling in Williamsburg, Va., which has a European theme. The Tampa park has long been home to many other animals from South America, Australia and Asia.
It's all part of big changes coming to the park, which last week confirmed that a new thrill ride under construction the past two months will be a high-speed roller coaster. The site is between the waterfall feature that closed last month at Rhino Rally and the Skyride, which is temporarily closing to get out of the way of construction. Busch provided only sketchy details of the ride, which is slated to be in running by summer 2011.