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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.