Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed a new baby 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.According to the Busch Gardens press release, 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.
If you like giraffes, check out this cute video posted by Sea World Parks and Entertainment (previously Worlds of Discovery) on YouTube of a young giraffe playing with an ostrich.