Florida's Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby reticulated giraffe on December 27. At 5 foot, 7 inches tall (1.524 meters) and weighing approximately 127 pounds (57.6 kilos), the newborn female is the calf of father, Jafari and mother,Tesa, who has previously given birth to four other calves at Busch Gardens. She brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 18. The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.
Mother and baby are currently in an area out of guest view so they can be closely monitored by zoo staff to ensure the baby is nursing and growing properly. The duo will join the other animals on the Serengeti Plain in about three months.
A giraffe’s gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the baby will nurse for about one year. This birth is part of a successful long-term breeding program at BuschGardens.
Photo Credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
More pictures after the jump!