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Meet the Tampa Bay area’s new animal friends

Zoo Tampa and Busch Gardens have both got some new (and cute) faces.

A baby orangutan is being fed from a bottle. A blue-gloved, white-coated doctor is holding the animal in a blanket, and feeding it. Its dark eyes sit around orange-colored dark short hair.

The first supper.

Photo by Busch Gardens

The Tampa Bay area is renowned for its wildlife. Manatees, dolphins, gators, and pelicans are never too far away, and neither is an abundance of lush greenery. On top of our native cohabitants, we also share our home with the residents of our animal facilities.

Zoo Tampa and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay both recently announced a wave of new arrivals, additions, and even a few births. Prepare for the cuteness.

Monkey business

Say hello to the Tampa Bay area’s youngest primate.

A Bornean orangutan was born at Busch Gardens a few days ago, on Saturday, April 13. Weighing just 3.4 lbs at birth, the not-yet-named baby was born via c-section. Her mother, Luna, is recovering from surgery, and the pair will be reunited once they are stabilized.

Bornean orangutans are classified as critically endangered, and the World Wildlife Foundation says their population is down over 50% over the past 60 years. WWF also says their habitats have been reduced by at least 55% over the last two decades.

Earlier this year, Busch Gardens also welcomed five new chimpanzees, bringing their troop up to seven.

A pygmy girl

Zoo Tampa recently celebrated the fifth pygmy hippo birth in its history. The unnamed female calf weighed ~10 lbs when the zoo posted this video on Friday, April 5, but could end up 60x heavier.

With ~2,000 estimated pygmy hippos left in the wild, the species is classified as endangered. The birth is part of the zoo’s commitment to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, which ensures threatened + endangered species’ survival.

Destiny’s child

That’s not the only baby recently born at Zoo Tampa. A few weeks ago, Munah the Malayan tapir entered our world. Her name means “favored by destiny,” and zoo officials say she favors playtime in the water.

Here’s an idea: World Tapir Day is on Saturday, April 27. You could celebrate the occasion with a trip to see the zoo’s dozen or so inhabitants of the endangered species.

Chick them out

Last, but certainly not least, Zoo Tampa is now home to two baby Inca terns. The pair of chicks hatched earlier this month, and will be raised by their parents: Mario and Daisy.

The South American bird species is classified as “Near Threatened,” and can be found inside the zoo’s Canopy Aviary.

If you want to see the new faces for yourself, grab tickets to Zoo Tampa, or Busch Gardens.

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