Register or Login to Hide This Ad for Free!
Jun 22, 2013
956
2,240
210
Tampa, FL
www.wdwtourcompany.com
Rhino Rally Area to Become Elephant Expansion?

According to Screamscape's latest update, sources are telling that site the attraction will not reopen in 2014, and instead will be cleared to become part of an expansion for the elephant habitat.

While I don't doubt BGT is looking at cutting Rhino Rally out permanently, I'm not sold on it being used for an elephant habitat expansion, at least not in it's entirety. (I can see a portion of it being used, but not the whole course.)

One of the reasons I say this is because after discussions with trainer recently, the park was unwilling/unable to provide funding to expand the habitat in order to receive the additional elephants from the Calgary Zoo as their elephant program ended. It would seem odd that just a few months later they are deciding to fund the project for an expansion when they won't be getting those elephants.

There are definitely discussions on whether or not to make the current habitat (expansion or not) bull proof, as it not currently able to have the new male elephant, Spike, out there safely. That decision, at least in part, will be made depending on how well Spike integrates with the herd.

Of course, I'll keep an ear out and report any developments.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nicole and Zachary

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,143
29,641
260
Arlington, VA
RE: Rhino Rally Area to Become Elephant Expansion?

I sucks that they aren't going to take the rest of Calgary's elephant herd! I do hope Spike gets integrated.

I think an expansion would be awesome, though. I love the elephants!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bill
Jun 22, 2013
956
2,240
210
Tampa, FL
www.wdwtourcompany.com
RE: Rhino Rally Area to Become Elephant Expansion?

Spoke with an employee who is a Rhino Rally driver this morning. So far, word to the employees is the ride will reopen sometime in the Spring.

Not a guarantee, of course, but wanted to report what I've been told.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nicole

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,143
29,641
260
Arlington, VA
RE: Rhino Rally Area to Become Elephant Expansion?

Any idea if it will reopen as the original Rhino Rally or the watered-down version? What kind of upgrades or changes have they been making?
 
Aug 23, 2013
111
361
160
Arlington
Busch Gardens Tampa Elephant Expansion
Busch Gardens Tampa (BGT) has doubled the outside elephant area. Some of their new space was claimed from the now defunct Rhino Rally safari-themed attraction. As you can see from the pictures below, they have added three gates to divide up the pachyderms’ play area. When I was speaking to their trainer last month, she said that they are going to  start letting Spike, the not so recently-acquired male Asian elephant (arrived ~Oct 2013), out in the new area to explore, which would allow the females to explore the old area, closest to the guest walkway.   Because Spike is timid, he stays inside most of the time. To get him feeling more comfortable with the outside play area, the park prefers is keeping him in the more private sections for now.      
 

Attachments

  • Current Enclosure Overhead Wm.jpg
    Current Enclosure Overhead Wm.jpg
    122.2 KB · Views: 12
  • Rhino Rally Course Wm.jpg
    Rhino Rally Course Wm.jpg
    51.7 KB · Views: 12
  • Heard Wm.jpg
    Heard Wm.jpg
    419.3 KB · Views: 6
  • Karnaudi tossing stump.mp4
    30 MB · Views: 8
  • Karnaudi up on log.mp4
    36.7 MB · Views: 5
  • Zurichzoo elphant area.jpg
    Zurichzoo elphant area.jpg
    114.7 KB · Views: 10
  • Zurichzoo elphant swimming.jpg
    Zurichzoo elphant swimming.jpg
    38.7 KB · Views: 9
  • BGT Spike elephant 1.jpg
    BGT Spike elephant 1.jpg
    309.7 KB · Views: 6

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,143
29,641
260
Arlington, VA
I have to say, the idea of a "lady elephant" is just fantastic. But I have admit, there was something oddly dainty about them on my behind the scenes tours.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tony
Nov 18, 2013
106
384
160
Naples, FL
bgtbuzz.blogspot.com
Nicole said:
I really hope Spike is out and about next time I am in Tampa.  Maybe they will start offering the animal keeper tours again soon, as well.

I'm good friends with one of the elephant keepers, and she basically said if there's a big enough demand for the tours to return (which there is), and if Spike "Cooperates" so to say, they'll begin phasing in new tour groups.

At this time, the Elephant Insider Tour & Elephant Keeper Tour are still being offered, but a very advanced request needs to be placed in order to give the Elephant care team ample time to prepare for the tour.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,143
29,641
260
Arlington, VA
Ooohhh.

Do you know how we can set up the tour? We called before our last visit and they said the tour was unavailable. The Elephant Keeper tour was easily my favorite animal tour across SWO, BGW, and BGT. I've done it twice, and the trainers were amazing and tailored the experience to our group each time. The Tiger and Orangutan Keeper tour was a close second.
 
Nov 18, 2013
106
384
160
Naples, FL
bgtbuzz.blogspot.com
I would contact the useless & uninformed SeaWorld Parks customer service telephone line and explain your situation. Or, I would email the park, which would give you a better chance of setting up the experience.

I'll be at the park by the end of this week (hopefully), so I'll look into it and hopefully have an answer for you!
 
Aug 23, 2013
111
361
160
Arlington
BGTBuzz, thanks for the info. I hope Spike get acclimated pretty quickly with the new area. Unfortunately I heard from the trainer like you that starting up the public tour again will be dependant on him.

That would be awesome to still do the elephant experience. I have to be down there for a couple weeks because of work and plan to get good use of my platinum pass!

May have to meetup when im down there again. My coworkers seem to rather do other stuff.
 
Nov 18, 2013
106
384
160
Naples, FL
bgtbuzz.blogspot.com
Tony said:
BGTBuzz, thanks for the info. I hope Spike get acclimated pretty quickly with the new area. Unfortunately I heard from the trainer like you that starting up the public tour again will be dependant on him.

That would be awesome to still do the elephant experience. I have to be down there for a couple weeks because of work and plan to get good use of my platinum pass!

May have to meetup when im down there again. My coworkers seem to rather do other stuff.

You'll know where to find me! :)

I'm at the park almost every weekend tweeting live updates (@TheBGTBuzz On Twitter). Always looking forward to meeting fellow theme park enthusiasts!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Luke and Tony

Luke

Pusheen Gardens
Jul 20, 2011
1,997
8,014
260
Williamsburg, VA
TheBGTBuzz said:
Tony said:
BGTBuzz, thanks for the info. I hope Spike get acclimated pretty quickly with the new area. Unfortunately I heard from the trainer like you that starting up the public tour again will be dependant on him.

That would be awesome to still do the elephant experience. I have to be down there for a couple weeks because of work and plan to get good use of my platinum pass!

May have to meetup when im down there again. My coworkers seem to rather do other stuff.

You'll know where to find me! :)

I'm at the park almost every weekend tweeting live updates (@TheBGTBuzz On Twitter). Always looking forward to meeting fellow theme park enthusiasts!
Makin friends...everyday....lalala.
pusheen_piano.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zimmy and Viktor
Consider Donating to Hide This Ad