Photo Alert: First Giraffe of 2012 Born at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

OK, I’m a sucker; I admit it.  Send me a photo of a baby animal, and chances are, I’ll post it.  Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced the birth of a new baby female reticulated giraffe on Monday, January 27, 2011.  At birth, the newborn was 6 foot, 2 inches tall and weighed approximately 176 pounds.  Continue after the break for more photos of the baby giraffe with its mother.

All photos provided by Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.  Click on the image for a larger version.

This recent birth brings the park’s reticulated giraffe population to 19.  The 18th giraffe was born exactly one month ago – December 27, 2011.

The gestation period for the reticulated giraffe is 15 months, and the baby will nurse for approximately 1 year.  The new 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 about three months.

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.

All the African animals can be viewed from the Serengeti Express, the Skyride or on a Serengeti Safari (for an additional fee), 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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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.