Warning: What you are about to see may result in warming of the heart, fuzzy feelings and incessant “aww”-ing.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay welcomed a baby female white rhinoceros on Oct. 23 in the park’s 26-acre white rhino habitat on the “Serengeti Plain.”
Busch Gardens has celebrated a total of seven white rhino births since October 2004, according to a press release from the park.
The baby, who has not yet been named, is the second calf born to mother Kisiri and the seventh calf born to father Tambo, the release states. She weighed an estimated 140 pounds at the time of the birth and will gain approximately four pounds each day until she reaches an adult weight of approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.
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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 park to eight, the release states.
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, according to the release. Fewer than 15,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and approximately 200 live in zoological facilities across North America.