Busch Gardens announces birth of southern white rhino

Fans to participate in online poll to vote for baby rhino’s name

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Announces Birth of Baby Southern White Rhino (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)

TAMPA, Fla. – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has announced the birth of a male southern white rhino calf.

The approximately 150-pound calf was born to experienced mother, Kisiri, the theme park said in a news release Thursday.

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Native to eastern and southern Africa, the southern white rhino stands more than six feet at the shoulder and weighs up to 5,000 pounds when fully grown. The species is currently listed at near threatened status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The new baby will join the crash (herd) of rhinos alongside zebra, ostrich, giraffe and several antelope species that reside in the park’s expansive 65-acre Serengeti Plain. Busch Gardens said fans are encouraged to participate in a limited-time online poll to determine the baby rhino’s name.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Announces Birth of Baby Southern White Rhino (Busch Gardens Tampa Bay)

Names include Viazi, Vumbi and Bahati.

The poll opens for voting Thursday and will close on Oct. 21. Busch Gardens said the baby’s name will be announced on the park’s social media channels in the future. Guests will be able to see the rhino calf within the coming days. The park’s animal care team said the baby rhino is expected to gain about 100 pounds per month.

Guests interested in experiencing a unique and up-close look at rhino and other African wildlife are encouraged to participate in Busch Gardens’ award-winning Serengeti Safari tour. Led by an expert guide, this 30-minute off-road and open-air tour provides guests with the opportunity to hand-feed giraffes and observe exotic animals, including the park’s white rhino crash.

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About the Author:

Landon joined News 6 in 2017. He grew up in Southern Illinois and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelors degree in TV and digital media. When he is not at work you can catch him at one of Orlando's theme parks or the beach. Before working at News 6 he worked for stations in Miami and Fort Myers.