Lion Country Safari

Double Feature! Baby Rhino and Kudu Calf!

Second Rare Rhino Born At Lion Country Safari In 2021 Bolsters Conservation Efforts

Lion Country Safari welcomed a male Southern White Rhinoceros calf to its herd on November 17th, 2021, the second calf born at the park this year. He is a significant contribution to the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a national collaboration to save the imperiled species from extinction. Both the calf, named Josh, and mom are spending some quality time bonding together in a maternity area, which is visible to guests from their cars in the drive-through safari.  

Lion Country Safari is home to 15 White Rhinos – 11 females and 4 males and is a proud participant of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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Rare Baby Rhino Born on World Rhino Day at Lion Country Safari!  

West Palm Beach, FL – In a very special celebration on World Rhino Day, Lion Country Safari welcomed a female Southern White Rhinoceros calf to its herd on Sept. 22, 2021. 

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This big baby is also a very big deal in the conservation world. She is a significant new part of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan, a national collaboration to save this imperiled species from extinction. In celebration of the birth and in honor of World Rhino Day, Lion Country Safari is making a donation to the International Rhino Foundation.  

Both the calf and mom are spending quality time bonding in a maternity area, which is visible to guests from their cars in the drive-through safari. Lion Country Safari is one of only a few drive-through safari experiences in the United States.  

The baby, named Aziza (meaning precious), is the second offspring born to 8-year-old mom Anna. She is the 37th rhino calf born at the park since 1979. During the 1970s, this species was teetering on the edge of extinction with less than 1,000 individuals left on the planet. Today, thanks to multi-national collaborative breeding and protection efforts, there are an estimated 20,000 white rhinos and each new birth contributes to their continued conservation.    

Lion Country Safari’s veterinary team monitored Anna’s health with regular ultrasound exams and blood tests to ensure that mom and calf were progressing well throughout the 16-month pregnancy. 

Rhino mothers give birth to a single calf weighing between 88 and 132 pounds (40-60 kg). Aziza is expected to gain 3-4 pounds (1-2kg) a day from her mother's milk, and will gain about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) a year for the first three years. Baby rhinos nurse for almost two years. 

Of the five species of rhinos (White, Black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan), the white rhino is the most abundant, but all 5 species are in peril due mostly to poaching. The Southern White Rhinoceros is the only species of rhino that eats just grasses; the others also browse on trees and shrubs.  

Lion Country Safari is home to 14 White Rhinos – 11 females and 3 males and is a proud participant of the White Rhinoceros Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP ensures that a genetically sound population of White Rhinos survives should threats worsen in the wild.  

For more information on rhinos, visit the International Rhino Foundation: www.rhinos.org and Save the Rhinos www.savetherhino.org


Sweet New Giraffe Calf Joins Lion Country Safari

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Lion Country Safari welcomed a new baby Giraffe on February 4!

The new calf arrived just before the safari closed for the evening, and guests visiting the park had a unique opportunity to witness the incredible birth from their vehicles in the final section of the preserve. A line of cars, with guests, watched as the 132-pound, 5.5-foot-tall female baby was born.

The calf has been named “Kimberlina”. Lion Country Safari’s wildlife team selected her unique name as homage to two special staff members described as, "exceptionally passionate and dedicated to giving [the] Giraffe extraordinary care." Kimberlina is also the name of a type of rose and keeps with the theme of her mother’s and grandmother’s names: Willow and Ayanna (flower), respectively.

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4_DSC_0019Photo Credits: Lion Country Safari (Image 5 = Dad, Cupid, with heart-shaped spot visible on neck)

Mom and baby can be observed spending some quiet bonding time in the maternity area. New dad, Cupid, was recently seen enjoying his own birthday celebration on February 14th. Identifiable by a heart-shaped spot on the right side of his neck, 13-year-old Cupid was observed enjoying special treats, or ‘enrichments’, in the Giraffe-feeding yard throughout the day on Valentine's Day.

Lion Country Safari is home to one of the largest herds, or ‘towers’, of Giraffe in the United States and is the only drive-through safari of its kind in the state of Florida.

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Baby Boom of Giraffes at Lion Country Safari

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As 2014 came to an end, Lion Country Safari, in Florida, welcomed its fifth giraffe birth of the year! 

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DSC_0034Photo Credits: Lion Country Safari

On December 30th, a 70-inch, 165-pound baby boy was born. The baby, named ‘Hakuna’, is safe in the maternity pen with his mom and is joined by fellow newborn, ‘Matata’ (born on Dec. 16). They are visible in the drive-through preserve (section 7, HwangeNational Park) or from the giraffe feeding exhibit at Lion Country Safari.  After three months, they will join the entire giraffe herd.

Female giraffe reproduce year-round beginning at about four years of age. Their conception peak is usually during the rainy season and their gestation lasts approximately 15 months. Giraffe calves are born while the mother is in a standing position and they drop to the ground head first. Life expectancy of a giraffe is approximately 25 years.

Lion Country Safari is dedicated to the captive breeding of a number of rare or endangered species and is proud to participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. This conservation program helps to ensure the survival of selected wildlife species.

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Summer Brings First Rare Giraffe Birth of the Year at Lion Country Safari

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Lion Country Safari, a leader in Giraffe breeding programs in North America with over 60 Giraffe births, just welcomed its first giraffe calf of 2014. The baby, named Nafari, which means “first-born” in Swahili, was born June 24th. He was born weighing 141.5 pounds (64.3 kg) and measured 70 inches (1.78 m) tall. 

Nafari and his mom are segregated from the herd in the maternity pen to allow bonding time.  They are visible in the drive-through preserve (section 7, Hwange National Park) or from the Giraffe feeding exhibit at Lion Country Safari.  In nearly three months, they will join the remainder of the Giraffe herd at Lion Country Safari. Soon enough, Nafari will have younger companions as other female Giraffe are expected to give birth in the near future.

Nafari with Tuli

Tuli & Nafari Side View

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Female Giraffe reproduce year-round beginning at about four years of age. Their conception peak is usually during the rainy season and their gestation lasts approximately fifteen months. Giraffe calves are born while the mother is in a standing position and they drop to the ground head first. Life expectancy of a Giraffe is twenty-five years.
 
Lion Country Safari is dedicated to the captive breeding of a number of rare or endangered species and is proud to participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. This conservation program helps to ensure the survival of selected wildlife species.


Flamingo Chicks Named After US Presidents at Lion Country Safari

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Lion Country Safari in Florida welcomed three new baby Flamingo chicks that hatched on July 1, 2, and 4. Since safari staff flew up to Washington's Smithsonian National Zoo to pick up the eggs, and the hatchings occurred on and just before Independence Day, keepers are naming them all after United States Presidents. So far they have named hatchlings Washington, Lincoln, and Truman. 

Flamingo chicks grow quickly, their long spindly legs shooting up so fast that it's a trick to strengthen them enough to hold up the birds' gray fuzzy bodies. So parents (or keepers, if they are being hand-raised) take them for daily walks and swims to become strong. It is quite a sight to see a group of little Flamingo chicks on a walk, flapping their little wings and wobbling to and fro. These birds are strong though rare swimmers and powerful fliers, even though they're most often seen just wading. 

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Photo Credit: Lion Country Safari

A chick's bill is small and straight, but will develop the distinct "break" curve after a few months. Flamingo chicks are born gray or white and take up to three years to reach their mature pink, orange, or red plumage; the color is caused by carotenoid pigments in their food, and a flamingo's diet includes shrimp, plankton, algae, and crustaceans.  

Say hello to one of the wobbly hatchlings, seen in the video below:


White Rhino Baby Named for Pioneering Conservationist

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The biggest addition at Florida’s Lion Country Safari is just a week old:  a 155-pound female Southern White Rhinoceros calf is now on display in the Rhino maternity area of the drive-through safari. 

Born on April 6, 2013 to mom Bloom after 16 months of gestation, the baby has been named Anna, after Rhino conservationist Anna Merz, who passed away on April 4. Merz was a founder of The Lewa Conservancy, which was established to conserve Rhinos in Kenya and has since grown to protect many species of African birds and mammals.

Anna and Mom

Anna relaxing

Anna by mom's horn
Photo Credit:  Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari is home to 14 Rhinos and has produced 33 Rhino offspring since 1979 as a participant in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. 

Of the five extant species of Rhinos (White, Black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan) the White Rhino is the most abundant, with approximately 20,150 alive today.  However, all five Rhino species are in peril.  The most significant threat to Rhinos is the trade in Rhino horn, which is used for traditional Asian medicine and as dagger handles in some Middle Eastern countries.  Despite international protections and treaties, demand for Rhino horn continues to escalate.

See more photos of Anna below the fold.

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Meet Willow the Rothschild Giraffe

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Lion Country Safari of West Palm Beach, Florida, welcomed its second giraffe calf of the year. The baby, named Willow, was born overnight on March 22nd. The female calf was exceptionally tall at birth, standing 6-foot 3-inches tall and weighing 174 pounds. 

Willow and her mom, both Rothschild Giraffes, are separated from the herd in a maternity pen to allow bonding time. They will join the rest of the herd in about three months. 

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Photo Credits: Lion Country Safari Park
 
Learn more after the fold.

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