Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a new baby reticulated giraffe just days ago. Weighing approximately 147 pounds at birth, the newborn is the calf of mother, Teesa, and father, Sterling. The addition brings Busch Gardens' giraffe population to 15.
Mother and baby are currently in an area out of guest view so they can be closely monitored by zoo staff to ensure the baby is nursing and growing properly. The duo will join the other animals on the Serengeti Plain in a few months.
A giraffe's gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the new baby will nurse for about one year. The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe's net-like pattern of spots. It is common for other members of the giraffe family to become involved with the care of newborns, and this baby will be joined by another new baby giraffe before summer. These births are part of a successful long-term breeding program at Busch Gardens.
Busch Gardens' 65-acre Serengeti Plain is a 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.
You can view these amazing animals from the Serengeti Express, the Skyride or on a Serengeti Safari, an open-truck tour of the plain during which you can hand-feed giraffe.