A newborn Grevy’s zebra foal with its mother at Busch Gardens. Photo by Busch Gardens.
An endangered Grevy’s zebra was born on August 5th at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Within an hour of is birth, the little foal was able to stand on its own and nurse from its mother Brooke.
In the wild, Grevy’s zebras inhabit Kenya and Ethiopia. The population of Grevy’s zebra has declined by more than 50 percent in the last 18 years, and they are the only species of zebra that are listed as endangered by IUCN Red List.
International Tiger Day takes place on July 29th, and Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida will be celebrating all weekend. In addition to discussions on tigers, feedings, and face painting, proceeds from the tigress and cubs plush toys sold in the Tiger Lodge gift shop in the Jungala area will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. On exhibit will be the endangered Malayan tiger cubs pictured.
Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed three Malayan tiger cubs on March 31st. There were two males and one female, each weighing around 6 pounds.
These births were part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Malayan tiger births are rare in captive breeding programs. There was only one successful birth in 2012, and this is the first Malayan tiger birth at Busch Gardens Tampa. The animal care team is monitoring the cubs and parents around the clock.
According to the IUCN Redlist, Malayan tigers are considered endangered in the wild. There are only 500 Malayan tigers living in their native habitat, which is the southern tip of Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. Threats include habitat fragmentation and poaching.
A rare white rhino was born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a female baby white rhinoceros on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. The baby is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh calf born to father Tambo. Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seven white rhino births since October 2004. The new baby weighed an estimated 140 pounds at birth. The newborn – who has yet to be named – will gain approximately four pounds each day until it reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.
Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The birth brings the total white and black rhino population at the adventure park to eight.
Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America.
Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed a pair of mongoose lemur twins earlier this month! The babies were born to mother Rosalita and father Guillermo. The gender of the new babies has not yet been determined. However, around 6-8 months, mongoose lemurs develop distinguishing characteristics based on their sex. Males start to change color and will grow a red “beard.” Females develop a white beard and have a darker face.
In the wild, mongoose lemurs are considered vulnerable of extinction. They inhabit the island of Madagascar, the native habitat of all species of lemurs. But they are unique in that they are one of two species also found outside of Madagascar, specifically on the Comoros Islands, which are located between Madagascar and Africa.
Rosalita and one of her twins.
New arrival: Mongoose lemur baby
Proud parents Rosalita and Guillermo. Did you know that mongoose lemurs make oinking sounds similar to pigs?
On March 26, Busch Gardens welcomed a new baby aardvark! The newborn currently weighs 4.8 pounds, but it is estimated to grow more than 120 pounds within its first year. The baby is being cared for by the animal care team behind the scenes at Jambo Junction. Check back at Busch Gardens’ Facebook page to find out when the little aardvark will make its public debut.
In the wild, aardvarks are solitary and elusive. They inhabit various ecosystems south of the Sahara in Africa, and they feed mainly on ants and termites. They are adept diggers, capturing their prey underground and creating burrows to rest in during the day. Because other animals use these burrows for shelter, the aardvark is considered a keystone species.
Singer and reality TV star Bret Michaels had a photo op with Busch Gardens’ own “hair rocker,” Harry the sloth, on Sunday at the Bands, Brew & BBQ festival. Harry, a two-toed sloth, is the most popular member of Busch Gardens’ Animal Ambassadors team.
In the wild, sloths inhabit the rainforests of Central and South America. They have a symbiotic relationship with algae, which grows on their fur. The green tint of the algae helps camouflage the sloths among the trees.
The first baby giraffe of 2012 was born at Busch Gardens. The female giraffe calf measures 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 176 pounds. She and her mother are currently being monitored by zoo staff. They will rejoin the herd in three months.
Busch Gardens welcomed a new female giraffe to their herd.
Slurp! The newborn giraffe gets a nice cleaning by her mother.
Just a newborn, the female giraffe measures 6 feet 2 inches tall!
To learn more about giraffes, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Giraffe.
A new female baby giraffe arrived on Tuesday, December 27 at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The newborn measures 5 feet 7 inches and weighs 127 pounds. She was born to father Jafari and mother Tesa. Tesa and the calf will be monitored for three months before joining the other free-roaming animals on Busch Gardens’ 65-acre Serengeti Plain habitat.
Ok, so cheetahs don’t actually eat pumpkins. (They are strict carnivores.) But the zookeepers at Busch Gardens provided some pumpkins for the cheetahs to investigate for some Halloween-themed fun. New sights and smells provide enrichment to animals, keeping them engaged and stimulated.