Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomes its seventh baby white rhino since 2004. The adorable baby, a female, will join other rhinos in the 26-acre white rhino habitat on Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Plain.
The baby is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh calf born to father Tambo. Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seventh white rhino births since October 2004. The new baby weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth. The newborn – who has yet to be named – will gain approximately four pounds each day until it reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.
Busch Gardens participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. The birth brings the total white and black rhino population at the adventure park to eight.
Kisiri, Tambo and another female white rhino were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America.
Since its inception in 2003, The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has granted $7 million USD to more than 500 projects in the U.S. and around the world, including $194,000 USD grants to rhino conservation projects. The Fund was created by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting environmental and wildlife conservation initiatives.
Photos by Matt Marriott/Busch Gardens Tampa Bay