Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby female Reticulated Giraffe on Monday, January 27, 2011. At 6 foot, 2 inches tall and weighing approximately 176 pounds, the newborn is the calf of father, Jafari and mother, Cupid. This is Jafari’s second calf, and cupid’s fifth.
This new addition brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 19. Exactly one month to the day before this most recent birth, another female in the herd, Tesa, gave birth to Jafari’s first calf, which was also female.
Photo credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
The new 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 Reticulated Giraffe’s gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the new baby will nurse for about one year. This birth is part of a successful long-term breeding program at Busch Gardens.The term “reticulated” refers to the Giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.
Busch Gardens’ 65-acre Serengeti Plain is a naturalistic habitat featuring a diverse population of free-roaming African animals including Giraffe, Zebra, White Rhinoceros, Eland Antelope and several other species of hoof stock and birds.
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.
Busch Gardens’ newest addition, a female Cape Buffalo, was born to mother Semara on Sept. 21. Cape Buffalos are extremely social; members of the same group will stay in direct contact with each other and will often sleep with their heads resting on one another. At the time of his birth, the calf weighed approximately 45 lbs. The playful and explorative youngster now weights 75 lbs. Once full grown, Cape Buffalos can weigh up to 2,000 lbs.
Two days earlier, the park’s Sable Antelope herd welcomed the third new baby of the month, a female who took her first steps within a few minutes of birth. Though Sable Antelopes are shaky at first, newborns can run fast enough to keep up with the herd within 3-5 days.
Busch Gardens’ guests can view all of the new babies from Rhino Rally, the Skyride or Serengeti Express train ride. For an even closer look, the Serengeti Safari offers guests and open-bed truck tour of the 65-acre Serengeti Plain, with opportunities to get up-close to antelope and rhinos and hand-feed giraffes.
The newest addition to Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plains was born on August 22: a female eland calf. Weighing in at 50 pounds, this girl will not stay little for long. Eland are the largest of the antelope species, with adult females weighing around 1,000 lbs.
Even with their bulky stature, eland antelope have a great adaptation: they can jump 8-10 feet straight up in the air from a standing position. Both males and females characteristically have thick, spiral horns, which can reach lengths of 3-4 feet. But to protect the mother, the calf doesn’t have horns at birth; her full set will grow in after about two years. She is now happily nursing and growing.
The Serengeti Plain’s eland herd now numbers 11 antelope, with this calf being the second to be born this season. The other female calf, which was born just over a month ago on July 17, is already twice her size.
This young male aardvark was born at Busch Gardens on April 10. Busch Gardens’ animal care experts stepped in when they saw that the mother was not attentive. There are only about 35 aardvarks in zoos in North America. With fewer than a dozen successful births each year, aardvark births are not common. They are solitary by nature, only Busch Gardens is home to a male and female, with the cub making three. He will be raised in Jambo Junction – located in the Nairobi area of the park – and will become one of the park’s educational Animal Ambassadors.
Busch Gardens’ Cheetah cub has a new companion! Since the young Cheetah cub is being hand-raised by keepers, staff decided to pair him with a Labrador puppy as a playpal to help the animal socialize. Both animals are quite playful and naturally curious about the other. They have been getting along wonderfully. While this is Busch Gardens' first puppy / cheetah pairing, the move is not uncommon at zoos. “Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” explained animal curator Tim Smith. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life."
Photo credits: Matt Marriott / Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
The Cheetah and puppy each received names yesterday selected by the public. The Cheetah's name, Kasi" means "one with speed" while the Lab's name, Mtani, means "close friend" in Swahili. See pics of Kasi as a young cub here.
Busch Gardens recently released new photos of their now 5-week-old Cheetah cub. As many of you remember, the new cub was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to a mother who wasn’t able to care for him. When zoo keepers saw that the baby was not eating and having trouble gaining weight, they made the decision to hand-raise him. Now, at a little more than two pounds, the cub is eating well, getting stronger and eagerly exploring his new home. Cheetahs are regulated by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which tracks a species’ genetic lines in zoos and animal parks around the world and makes recommendations as to where specific animals should be placed for successful breeding opportunities. It was on the SSP and Jacksonville Zoo’s advice that the new baby was brought to Busch Gardens.
Busch Gardens’ hoof-stock care team is currently hand raising a baby female Thomson’s Gazelle. The baby weighed just over four pounds at birth on February 25. When the calf refused to take milk from its mother, the park’s animal care team started bottle-feeding the baby. She is now receiving five bottle feedings each day and is weighed daily to monitor her health. At about four weeks old, she has already gained more than two pounds. Thomson’s Gazelle, also called “tommies,” are one of three migratory species that make up the vast Serengeti migration. Like the zebra and the wildebeest, the Tommie population can reach more than 500,000 per migration. This baby will remain in the park’s back area until she is healthy enough to join the herd of Thomson’s gazelles on the 65-acre Serengeti Plain. Guests can view the herd from Nairobi Walkway and get close-up views of the animals on the Serengeti Express Railway.
Busch Gardens' animal care team has something new keeping them up at night -- a four-week-old baby cheetah that requires regular feedings and 24-hour care. The new cub was born at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to a mother who wasn't able to care for him. When zoo keepers saw that the baby was not eating and having trouble gaining weight, they made the decision to hand-raise him at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Now, at a little more than two pounds, the cub is eating well, getting stronger and eagerly exploring his new home. Do NOT miss the video.
Photo credits: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Once he is old enough, he will join the group of cheetahs living in Cheetah Run, the innovative new habitat opening alongside the Cheetah Hunt launch coaster that will bring guests face to face with these agile predators. Upon reaching maturity, he may also become an important part of Busch Gardens’ plans for a cheetah breeding program that will help boost the population of these critically endangered animals.