Sega is reviving arcade classic Jambo! Safari, a game where you ride around in a Range Rover and “rescue” animals with a lasso and net, for the Wii and DS.

Since Afrika on the PS3 doesn’t seem like it’s going to be hitting the West any time soon, gamers eager to go on wildlife safaris in the African savannah may have to settle for Jambo! Safari on Wii and DS, Sega’s revival of their classic arcade game in which you drive around in a jeep and capture wild animals with a lasso so you can skin them and sell their hides on the black market.

Wait, that’s not what Jambo! Safari was about? According to Sega, in Jambo! Safari on Wii and DS, you take on the role of a park ranger who “will need to ensure the animals in their park are healthy and happy.” That means diagnosing and treating sick critters, doing photography, going on hot air balloon rides and “rescuing animals in need.” So now you’re rescuing the animals, even though the old Jambo! Safari clearly stated you were “capturing” them.

In that version of the game, you had to flick a lever to throw out a lasso to “rescue” animals, and then flick it back to reel them in. This gameplay “has lent itself perfectly to the unique way of playing games on Nintendo platforms,” says Sega, referring to the new Wii Remote and stylus-based control methods for managing your lasso and operating the jeep.

Edutainment is clearly a top priority here for Sega, so I guess it’s acceptable that this game isn’t about capturing wild animals. “Jambo! Safari makes learning fun, whilst children are playing the game and rescuing the wild animals they collect information cards, meaning they learn the characteristics of the animals and their natural habitat as they play,” Sega wrote.

Oh well. PETA could have had a field day with this one.

Jambo! Safari: Ranger Adventure on Wii, which will feature co-op and party games, and Animal Rescue on the DS are coming in late 2009.

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