Tanganyika Wildlife Park will open for the 2017 season on Friday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m. This year, guests are in for a lot of surprises. On Saturday, March 18, the park will hold a ribbon cutting for its Trouble Maker’s Cove. Guests will see a new Asian small-clawed otter exhibit, a renovated African penguin exhibit, and a new exhibit for Luna the albino alligator.
“I expect that the otters will certainly be a big hit. I also think the behind the scenes tours will be popular for people that really want to connect with the animals,” Tanganyika’s Assistant Director Matt Fouts said.
The new penguin and Okapi behind the scenes tours will bring some brand new interactive opportunities to the park. For an additional fee, guests will be able to participate in truly unique activities like touching and even swimming with the penguins!
Park guests will likely also see the new cheetah cubs when they visit the park. Born during the winter, these cubs took New York by storm in February, appearing on The Today Show, New York Daily News and more. Born on December 4, which just so happens to be International Cheetah Day, these are the first cheetah cubs to be born in the state of Kansas, and that’s pretty cool!
In addition to new exhibits and experiences, the park debuts a new pricing structure this year. The three-tiered system allows guests to choose the option that best suits their desired experience as well as their budget.
"I believe the end result will be a much simpler process and a better overall value for people that want to interact with the animals," Fouts said.
The new system's first tier, General Admission, includes one interactive encounter. The second tier, the Encounter Level, includes five interactive encounters and a free souvenir photo. Encounter Pass tickets cost $10 more than General admission tickets. The top tier is the All-Access Pass, which includes 10 interactive encounters and a free souvenir photo. All-Access tickets are priced at $20 above General Admission tickets. Check out a detailed pricing list below.
Takganyika's Three-Tiered Pricing System
Season Pass Promotion
Tanganyika Wildlife also offered a new promotion this year. For a limited time, season passes were available for the price of one regular admission.
"Our new season pass promotion was an incredible success. Many people are planning to visit Tanganyika for the first time ever or the first time in several years, so it is an incredible opportunity to show them what we are all about. With all the new experiences and some new exhibits, I hope people will see the incredible work we are doing and support our family-owned facility," Fouts said.
If you missed out on the promotion, don't worry! Season passes are still available and a good value, offering unlimited admission at just the price of two regular admissions.
About Tanganyika Wildlife Park
Matt's father, Jim Fouts, developed a love of animals at a young age, after receiving a San Diego Zoo guide book from his grandfather. He followed his heart, and years later he would spend 5-and-a-half years as a keeper at the Sedgwick County Zoo developing zoological contacts. Jim decided to pursue breeding birds and, around this time, he learned from a colleague that a Bolivian animal importing company was looking for people with animal experience. For two years Jim worked in Bolivia. He would later go on to conquer Africa, as well. Having made a few trips to Africa, Jim and his wife later bought a USDA Quarantine Facility in California where they would become one of the country’s leading importers for rare birds. In 1987, they bought five acres of land in Goddard, Kansas that they would build from the ground up. Today, that five acres and the dozens of acres around it are Tanganyika Wildlife Park.
Officially opening as a wildlife park in August of 2008, Tanganyika is a world leader in breeding rare and endangered species and one of the largest, family-owned zoos in the country. Today, Tanganyika Wildlife park is home to more than 80 different species. Of the animals exhibited, nearly 40 percent are endangered.
Read the full origin story on Tanganyika's website.