Baby giraffe born at Busch Gardens

A baby female reticulated giraffe was born on Dec. 27 at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. The baby weighed approximately 127 pounds and was 5 foot, 7 inches at birth. The mother, Tesa, has given birth to four other calves at Busch Gardens.

There are now 18 reticulated giraffes at Busch Gardens. The term “reticulated” refers to the giraffe’s net-like pattern of spots.

The mother and baby are being closely monitored away from guests viewing areas by zoo staff to ensure that the pair receives specialized care. The duo will join the other animals on the Serengeti Plain in about three months.

A giraffe’s gestation period is approximately 15 months, and the new baby will nurse for about one year. This birth is 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.

Guests can view the animals from the Serengeti Express, the Skyride or on a Serengeti Safari, an open-truck tour during which you can hand-feed reticulated giraffes and get up-close with the other animals on the plain.

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