JACKSON, NJ—February 19, 2014--Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari’s animal care team has adopted the role of surrogate mother to a pair of playful lion cubs born in January and a single cub born just two weeks ago.
The Safari’s 1,200 exotic animals reside in as natural an environment as possible, and most often mothers take excellent care of their young, explained Dr. Bill Rives, Safari director and chief veterinarian. “From pregnancy through the baby-rearing process, we keep a close watch to make sure all of the animals are healthy, and only intervene when medically necessary.”
The nine-pound baby brothers weighed approximately three pounds at birth January 10. When the Safari’s animal care team realized one of the cubs was in distress shortly after birth, they made the decision to remove both cubs from their mother’s care.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, African lions are considered “vulnerable” with a population trend decreasing. “In the wild, only 20 percent of lion cubs reach their first birthday. It’s common for mothers to abandon sickly cubs, and also to stop caring for a litter containing a single cub,” said Dr. Ken Keiffer, veterinarian at Six Flags Great Adventure. “We wanted to give both cubs the best chance for survival and ensure a successful pride introduction when they are grown, which meant keeping them together,” he said.
The cuddly duo resides in the Safari’s nursery, surrounded by plush toys.
A third cub, the single, male lion born to a first-time mom just two weeks ago, still resides in an incubator in the veterinary clinic. The animal care team rescued the tiny cub when he was abandoned at birth.
“With big cats, mothers don’t always possess the instinct to adequately care for their first litter. If this happens, we immediately intervene,” Dr. Keiffer said.
The three cubs have yet to be named. Six Flags will solicit the help of Facebook fans to name the adorable new additions in an upcoming online poll.
This spring, guests can see the lion cubs on the Safari Off Road Adventure attraction in Camp Aventura. The cubs are expected to spend much of the season there, allowing guests to watch their progress. Then, the trio will be introduced to a larger pride in the Safari’s lion section, Kingsland. When full grown, the three male lions will weigh approximately 500 pounds each. In total, Six Flags Safari is home to 21 lions.
Six Flags’ animal care team is adept at hand-raising exotic animals. From bear cubs to blackbuck calves, the team has devoted countless hours to caring for the Safari’s youngest residents. This spring, a giraffe calf named Josie that was hand-raised by staff in 2013 will make her debut in the African Plains section.
Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari opens for the 2014 season April 12. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure.
Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois is looking to hire more than 3,000 seasonal employees ranging from entry-level to management-level positions including paid internships.
Job fairs are scheduled for the following Saturdays in February and March:
Candidates should enter through the employee entrance and are encouraged to apply online at www.sixflagsjobs.com prior to arriving.
Positions are available in a variety of departments including:
Team members receive perks such as:
Get ready for the new GIANT in the world of wooden roller coasters! New for 2014, Goliath will be the fastest woooden roller coaster in the world and feature the world’s tallest and steepest drop. All total, this wooden marvel will tout three world records making it the most extreme coaster of its kind on the planet! For more information including a video and photos highlighting Goliath, visit www.sixflags.com/greatamerica
Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers construction and offseason refurbishments at Six Flags Magic Mountain
Construction on the parks 19th Coaster "Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers" is speeding up as well as the rest of the work the park is doing in Bugs Bunny World. If you missed the announcement for the new coaster you can find it here.
We'll also update you on some other changes going on around the park and offseason refurbishments.
Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers and Bugs Bunny World construction
Work is progressing nicely on the new entrance sign for Bugs Bunny World. The pad looks to be about the same size as the General Sam Tree that sat in this spot previously.
The planters are also completed and it looks like there may also be some lamp posts here as well.
Earth movers are on site as they start getting ready for Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers
Everything behind the green wall is construction for the coaster. Looks like at least one building is getting saved. Not sure if this is going to be for the queue or maybe a store. I believe this was a food location at one time that served drinks and snacks.
A look at the work being done. Don't see any holes for footers yet.
The walls extend to the other side of Bugs Bunny World.
The work being done in Bugs Bunny World isn't just limited to a new coaster and new entrance, the entire area is getting some TLC. The Merrie Melodies Carousel is getting a complete refurbishment.
Pepe Lepews Tea Party is also getting a refurb right now.
Let's hope this building is on the TLC list.
Tweety's Escape is getting closer to being finished and it looks like the cages themselves got a fresh coat of paint backstage.
The canopy was up a couple of weeks ago but it has since been removed. Not sure if it just needed to come down to put the cages back up.
The new ride operator booth is taking shape.
The Theater is supposed to be getting a new show this year but no work is evident so far.
Really looking forward to the new Bugs Bunny World. We'll keep you updated on it's progress over the next couple of months.
High Sierra Territory
As a result of Full Throttle, Speedy Gonzales, and the remodel of Mooseburger lodge, High Sierra Territory looks to be on it's way out.
A look at the outside of Mooseburger. All of the signs have been removed. However, no work is evident on the outside of the building, just the inside.
Signs direct guests to Food Etc. for Indoor dining.
It also looks like the area in front of the building received some fresh new concrete. Exciting no? ;)
A peek inside the building, not much to see.
With all of the work being done to convert Mooseburger into a Sports Bar and with Full Throttle and Speedy Gonzales both being kind of the same theme (albeit for different audiences) one has to wonder just how long the High Sierra Territory theme is going to last.
Could the Log Jammer building be on it's way out as well?
Could they possibly open up this area and have the Full Throttle exit come in this direction?
A similar sign that used to be near Log Jammer was removed last year. Could this one be next?
This sign behind Wascal's should certainly be on the chopping block.
It even has a sign for a ride that hasn't been at the park since 2010.
It will certainly be interesting to see what, if anything, is done to the rest of High Sierra Territory. There certainly aren't any rides in the area anymore and other than the Golden Bear Theatre there really isn't much else to make it feel like "High Sierra Territory".
Refurbishments continue on the parks 3 water rides and a couple of the parks flat rides.
Jet Stream is also closed and completely drained.
Over where the ride crosses over the walkway by Roaring Rapids I did notice some trees being removed. Not sure if this for Jet Stream or Ninja.
Hopefully it's being done so they can get up here and do some work on the flume. As one of only 3 water rides in a park that routinely get's above 100 degrees in the summer, they really should be giving Jet Stream some love. Remember, as recently as 2010 the park had 5 water rides.
Scrambler is still closed and being worked on backstage.
Swashbuckler looks like it's closer to being done with its Refurbishment than Scrambler.
I've been trying to ride Colossus as much as possible when visiting the park "just in case".
The Psyclone trains never left the track after Fright Fest last year but they have been uncovered and were actively being worked on. Still no date for both Colossus and Batman Backwards but we'll pass it along as soon as we hear.
Around the park
Lot's of little things going on around the park that we wanted to update you on.
Revolution recently came back from a short refurbishment and I have to admit it was probably the best ride I've had on the coaster in over a decade. It's still nothing compared to it's pre-OTSR days and it's not "great" by any means, but it was at least rideable.
I'm usually not a fan of tree removal but this is such an iconic image for the park that you can't see during most of the year.
This didn't make much sense as "Cyclone Bay" when "Psyclone" was here and it makes less sense now. They should re-theme this back to Spillikin Corners as a nod to the history of the park.
Nothing going on at the former Deja Vu location.
The sign post for Deja Vu is still there.
Also took a ride on Apocalypse and while it wasn't as smooth as it was when it opened in 2009 it was better than the last few rides I had on it.
I was also very glad to see that the queue is holding up quite nicely. I know the movie get's a lot of flack but the themeing in the queue is actually quite good.
When the park opens and X2 and Tatsu aren't a priority to you, head to the back of the park. Apocalypse, Riddlers, Batman, Colossus, Scream and sometimes even Goliath are usually walk-on's until about 11:30am.
Some pipe work has been done in a few spots around the park. Let's hope this area get's the nice shiny new concrete that the area in front of Mooseburger got.
I hadn't seen this advertisement before (or at least I don't remember seeing it). I don't mind seeing ads in the park when they are clever and relate to the park.
I saw a few signs around the park letting people know when special events will be at the park. Great idea!!!
Goliath Goods needs some kind of cover or something put over it when it's not open.
And just because, we'll finish with some random coaster pictures.
Overall, despite a few nit-picky things in this update, i think the park is actually looking pretty good right now. I think Speedy Gonzales is going to be a great addition to Bugs Bunny World and I'm glad they are taking the time to clean up the rest of the area.
Due to the Sky Tower being closed I've been unable to get any pictures of the work being done on the new slides for Hurricane Harbor but I did hear work going on over there.
That's going to wrap it up for this update. We'll continue to keep an eye on construction for Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers, Mooseburger remodel and the rest of the offseason refurbishment.