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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Call to Florida High School Artists: Manatee Decal Art Competition

2008 Manatee Decal

The 2008 decal artwork was created by Austin Bynon, a student from West Boca Raton Community High School.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is inviting all Florida students in grades 9-12 to submit artwork for the 2011-2012 manatee decals. The decals will be available to Florida residents when they donate 5 or more dollars to the Save the Manatee Trust Fund. The funds raised will go towards manatee rescue and rehabilitation, research, and public awareness.

Florida schools may submit up to 5 pieces of original student artwork by January 28. For the complete rules and more information about the contest, see: MyFWC.com.

The Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, is an herbivorous mammal that inhabits the shallow coastal waters, rivers, and springs of Florida and neighboring states. It is considered endangered. November is Manatee Awareness Month in Florida.

6-Year-Old Donates Savings to Help Sea Turtles

Six year old Daniel Atkinson loves marine mammals and wants to help them.  When he looked at the Florida Aquarium website when planning a trip with his mother, Daniel read about the emergency rescue of cold-stunned turtles.  Daniel decided that he needed to help, so he emptied his piggy bank and told his mom to send it to the aquarium.

Daniel’s donation of $53.50 was accompanied by a note urging the aquarium to use the money to buy antibiotics and fluids for the turtles.

When Daniel finally got to visit the aquarium on Friday he got a behind the scenes tour. Daniel was allowed to get up close and personal with some of the rescued turtles.

Read the whole story CFNews13.com.

Tampa Welcomes Baby Giraffe

Baby giraffe at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has welcomed a new giraffe to their zoo family, raising the total number to 15. The calf weighed 147 lbs when born a few days ago.

Guests to the zoo will not yet be able to see the new baby as it is being cared for by its mother in a private section of the zoo. Once zoo staff determines that the baby is growing properly, both baby and mother will join the other giraffes in the Serengeti Plains exhibit where visitors can view the giraffes via safari-style tour or the Skyride.

The zoo is expecting another baby giraffe before summer.

Read more about giraffes at Animal Fact Guide.

Learn more about Busch Gardens Tampa Bay by visiting their website.

Discovery Cove Welcomes Baby Anteater

Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida has welcomed a baby tamandua, or lesser anteater, to their animal family. The baby was born recently and will cling to his mother back until he is able to walk and find his own food. These anteaters are native to Mexico and South America, living in forests. Anteaters like this will eat up to 9000 ants a day! They use their sharp claws and long tongue to catch their tasty treats.

Read more at DiscoveryCove.com

Manatees Looking for Warmth

The current cold weather in Florida has been forcing manatees to seek warmth any way possible. As a result, over 100 manatees have found their way into Satellite Beach Canal in Brevard County.

The problem posed by this is that the manatees have eaten all of the grass that lined canal. Now the manatees must either risk heading back into the frigid ocean waters to search for food or face starvation in the canal.

The chilly water puts the manatees at risk for cold stress, which can be deadly. The state has worked out a an emergency triage system if the manatees begin to get sick.

The manatees have also drawn large crowds of onlookers eager to get a glimpse at the endangered creatures.

For more, visit wftv.com.

New Zoo Babies at Florida Zoo

Baby black and white ruffed lemur

The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida is host to a slew of new baby animals.  Pictured above is a five-week-old black and white ruffed lemur baby.  The zoo also welcomed a baby spider monkey and a Florida sandhill crane.  The baby crane’s father is actually a wild crane who flew into the zoo.

For more info: Florida Today

Jacksonville Zoo Welcomes Jaguar Cub

Harry, a jaguar who was born January 1st, made his official public debut on Monday at the Jacksonville Zoo.

He been staying in a holding area with his mother, Zassi. To mark his first appearance officials made speeches and then the mother and cub tore open pinatas containing meat.

Harry is the first jaguar born at the zoo in 28 years.  He was named by an 11-year-old girl whose parents had won the naming rights at a fundraiser; Harry is the name of her younger brother.

For more visit Jacksonville.com