Bret Michaels Meets Harry the Sloth

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.

Bret Michaels and Harry the sloth

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.


Baby Giraffe at Busch Gardens

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.

Baby giraffe at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens welcomed a new female giraffe to their herd.

Baby giraffe and mother at Busch Gardens

Slurp! The newborn giraffe gets a nice cleaning by her mother.

Baby giraffe and 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.

Baby Giraffe at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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.

Baby giraffe at Busch Gardens

Cheetah, Cheetah, Pumpkin Eatah!

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.

Remember the cheetah cub Kasi and his puppy friend Mtani?  Here they are together all grown up!

Cheetah and yellow lab looking at pumpkins

Kasi joins Mtani to look at pumpkins.

Cheetah and yellow lab investigating pumpkins

Kasi and Mtani sniff the pumpkins.

Cheetahs investigating pumpkins

More cheetahs examining the pumpkins.

Baby Eland Antelope at Busch Gardens

Eland calf at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

A female eland antelope calf was born Monday at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay.  The calf weighs 50 pounds currently but will eventually grow to be around 1000 pounds as an adult. Eland are the largest of the antelope species.

Eland can jump 8-10 feet in the air.  At around 2 years old, eland grow thick, spiraling horns that can reach 3-4 feet long.

In the wild, eland inhabit savannah woodlands of southern Africa. They are not considered vulnerable of extinction by the IUCN Redlist.

Eland calf at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay

Baby Aardvark at Busch Gardens

Baby aardvark at Busch Gardens

A baby aardvark born April 10 made his public debut April 29 at the Jambo Junction in Busch Gardens. Photo provided by Busch Gardens.

On April 10th, a male baby aardvark was born at Busch Gardens, Tampa.  Visitors can sneak a peak at the new cub at Jambo Junction, located in the Nairobi section of the park.

In the wild, aardvarks are solitary and quite elusive.  But their range spans all of Africa south of the Sahara, and they are listed a species of least concern of becoming endangered by the IUCN Redlist.  They eat ants and termites.

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Baby Cheetah and Puppy Become Pals


Starting today guests at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida will get to see an unlikely pair – a cheetah cub and a yellow Labrador puppy. The 8-week-old cheetah was taken in last month because his mother was unable to care for him. Last week the animal care team decided on the 16-week-old puppy as a companion. The two will live together in Jambo Junction, a part of the Nairobi area of the park.

The park has opened a poll on their Facebook page to allow voting on what to the name the pair. Voting ends on Monday, April 18.

UPDATE: The cheetah cub has been named Kasi, which is Swahili for “one with speed.”

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Baby Cheetah at Busch Gardens

The animal care team at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fl is busy these days caring for a four week old cheetah cub.  The cheetah was born at another zoo and his mother was unable to care for him. The decision was made to hand-raise him and so far it’s been successful. The little guy now weighs over 2 lbs. and is growing stronger each day.

Once he is big enough he’ll join other cheetahs at the park and will one day play a role breeding program to help increase the population of these endangered animals.

Busch Gardens supports the conservation of and education about cheetahs through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, which has donated nearly $100,000 to cheetah efforts in Africa since 2005 and also helps fund conservation programs for white rhinos, marine animals and many other species around the world.

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Two Baby Giraffes Join Tampa Bay Herd

Two male baby giraffes, born April 8 and April 24, were introduced to the rest of the giraffe herd in the Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain habitat. The Serengeti Plain is a 65-acre, 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.

Visitors can view the new additions from the Serengeti Express or on a Serengeti Safari, an open-truck tour of the plain.

To learn more, visit the Busch Gardens website.

Baby giraffes at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Baby giraffes at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Baby Lemurs Born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

A pair of red-ruffed lemurs have been born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The two were born on April 21st of this year to Maditra and Bozeny, who have lived at the zoo for 3 years. The babies are still too young to have their gender identified and they have not been given names yet. Once full-grown they will weigh between 8-10 lbs.

Read about the red-ruffed lemur’s cousin the ring-tailed lemur at Animal Fact Guide.