Get out the cigars: Busch Gardens has announced that Bea, a 14-year-old reticulated giraffe, delivered her third calf on Friday.
The park released photos and an adorable video of the leggy male calf wobbling around its pen with his mother.
“As important developmental milestones are reached over the next few months, Bea and her calf will soon join the herd on the park’s Serengeti Plain where they can be spotted by guests,” a Busch Gardens news release said.
The park made the announcement on World Giraffe Day, which is held each year on June 21 to celebrate the popular savanna animal and highlight conservation efforts for their populations in the wild.
Reticulated giraffes are an endangered species with only about 15,000 remaining in their naturally occurring environment, the park said. Populations have declined by more than 50 percent in the past 30 years due to habitat loss and hunting. The new calf is part of Busch Gardens’ participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. The mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific species populations within AZA-accredited facilities.
After a 15-month pregnancy, the new calf follows Bea’s two previously successful births: Binty in 2014 and Amani in 2015. The last giraffe born at the park was Patty, who arrived on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day in 2018, the park said.