Tampa, Florida -- Busch Gardens Tampa has welcomed three Marabou Stork chicks. The first two chicks hatched on April 3, and the third chick hatched on April 5.
Zoo officials say first-time parents Fig and Reba took turns watching over the eggs for 30 days, which is the incubation period for Marabou storks. Fig was also hatched at Busch Gardens more than 10 years ago.
Two of the chicks, along with the parents, can be seen on the Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens. Guests can catch a glimpse of the park's newest animal residents by taking a ride on the Serengeti Railway or on a Serengeti Safari.
The third chick is behind-the-scenes at the state-of-the-art Animal Care Center. Marabou stork parents typically raise two chicks, so the Busch Gardens animal care team, with the guidance of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), made the decision to hand-rear the third chick.
Zoo officials say all three chicks are healthy and steadily growing as they approach their first month at Busch Gardens. Marabou Storks can reach a height of 60 inches with a 7- to 9-foot wingspan. Additionally, their bill can reach lengths of 14 inches.
For more information, visit buschgardenstampa.com. You can also be the first to know about new events, special deals and future announcements by following the park's blog at BuschGardensTampaBlog.com. You can also "like" the Busch Gardens Facebook page, and follow @buschgardens on Twitter and on Pinterest.
Photos: More Baby Animal Pictures!