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Junior Jetset: Jungala

Big cats are where it's at — and unless you are going on a safari, you might consider an up-close-encounter with the Bengal tigers at Busch Gardens in Tampa.

The folks at Busch entertainment invited me to check out Jungala, the park's latest enhancement, a 4-acre Congo themed area that targets tweens. It boasts zip line rides for 6 to 13-year-olds, Tree Top Trails — a netted multi-level maze for kids to navigate while their parents look on below, spraying water features and animal habitats, most notably, their incredible tiger exhibit.

To hear more about this part of Worlds of Discovery,


Set with bamboo screens, rock formations and a plunge pool, visitors can view the dozen tigers from all angles, even as they swim. There is even a pop-up dome in the middle of the enclosure that children can climb up into.

Adults are just as fascinated by the big cats as the kids. Separated only by a thick glass-like partition in a good portion of the exhibit, PetSugar and I were awed by the animals' playful interactions with visitors.

The price of admission is $65 for Busch Gardens Tampa. Children ages 3 to 9 are $55. And those two and under are free. Discounts are available.

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