This weekend, guests visiting Busch Gardens Tampa Bay have the opportunity to join in the celebration of two endangered species thriving under the park’s care. The park has special plans for the first birthday of Malu, a Bornean orangutan, and the newest fall arrivals at the park: four fluffy African penguin chicks.
SATURDAY, OCT. 13: Just in time for African Penguin Awareness Day, the park welcomes four penguin chicks to the rookery. Park guests will have the FIRST opportunity to see the newest additions to the Busch Gardens penguin family this Saturday as a part of the park’s African Penguin Awareness Day celebration. The hatchlings will appear intermittently in the Animal Care Center between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, October 13, where guests can watch as the zoo team provides for the young birds. Ultimate penguin fans can also book a PENGUIN INSIDER TOUR for a behind-the-scenes look at the fascinating warm-weather flock that calls Busch Gardens home.
This year’s babies are the largest group of penguin chicks that has ever hatched at Busch Gardens. At this stage in their development, the young chicks are expected to eat 60% of their body weight each day to ensure proper growth. Varying in age from two to four weeks old, the chicks are under 24 hour supervision with the animal care team at Busch Gardens.
SUNDAY, OCT. 14: It’s an ORANGUTAN BIRTHDAY! Guests can swing by the Jungala area of the park to wish young Malu, a Bornean orangutan, a happy first birthday during a 1:00p.m. celebration this Sunday. Malu was born on October 14, 2017 to first-time mom, Luna, weighing in at just over 8 pounds. His arrival was monumental for Busch Gardens, as orangutans typically only have one baby every 7-10 years. Today, he is a healthy and curious young ape, growing strong and learning alongside his mother each day.
As one of the largest zoos in the country, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s animal care team plays a vital role in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for a number of endangered species. The African penguin and the Bornean orangutan are both endangered in the wild, largely due to habitat loss caused by humans. Each baby animal at the park sparks new hope for their species as they bring awareness to the plight of their wild counterparts.
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports research and conservation projects, including initiatives that directly benefit African penguins and Bornean orangutans. To learn more about these projects, guests can visit the fund’s website for additional information.