Busch Gardens Tampa welcomes baby giraffes

12:12 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- This past June, Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed two baby reticulated giraffes. 

Within an hour of birth, park officials say the calves were standing and within two hours were nursing.

Cupid, a 15 year-old giraffe, welcomed her seventh calf on June 11.  The male calf weighed 188 pounds and was more than 6 feet tall.  Tesa, an 18-year-old giraffe, welcomed her sixth calf on June 19; a female weighing 145 pounds and standing 5 feet 8 inches tall.

PHOTOS: Baby giraffes at Busch Gardens Tampa

Giraffes are the tallest mammal on Earth, with males standing close to 18 feet tall and females close to 16 feet tall. The gestation period for a giraffe is between 14-15 months, and the female gives birth while standing.

The reticulate giraffe is one of nine subspecies of giraffe and are easy to distinguish because of their distinct "net-like" pattern, brown-orange spots and thick white lines. They are found in southern Somalia, Ethiopia and down into northeastern Kenya.

The baby giraffes can now be seen on the Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens. For a closer look, guests can reserve a Serengeti Safari, which is an open-truck tour offering guests a unique look at the 65-acre Serengeti Plain habitat where they will encounter African wildlife and even hand-feed giraffes with the help of an expert guide.

Release courtesy Busch Gardens Tampa.

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