SD Safari Park in Midst of a Baby Boom - NBC 7 San Diego

SD Safari Park in Midst of a Baby Boom



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    Ken Bohn/ San Diego Zoo Safari Park
    A white-bearded gnu calf, or wildebeest, was on the heels of its mother in the African Plains exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The calf is one of four wildebeest born at the Safari Park during the last month.

    The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is currently experiencing a serious baby boom, with tons of newborn, exotic animal babies joining the park’s furry family.

    According to Safari Park officials, the park is brimming with babies, including eastern bongo, scimitar-horned oryx, South African springbok, Ankole cattle, East African eland and white-bearded gnu running about in the “African Plains” exhibit.

    In the last month alone, zookeepers say four white-bearded gnu (see photo above), also known as wildebeest, were born at the park.

    Keepers say wildebeest calves weigh about 40-pounds at birth and can grow to weigh anywhere from 260 to 600-pounds as adults. Within minutes of being born, the little gnu in the photo above was standing and running, following its mother and their herd.

    San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    With these latest babies, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has had 306 white-bearded gnu birth since opening in 1972.

    Currently, more than 100 exotic animal babies are roaming the plains at the park and also include Kenya impala, Thomson’s gazelle and Nile lechwe. An endangered Przewalski's horse filly and warthog piglets are also living in the park’s “Heart of Africa” exhibit, zoo officials said.

    Safari Park senior keeper Justine Zafran says the summer baby boom is hard to miss.

    "We have babies, babies, everywhere," said Zafran. "Mother nature plans well. Spring and summer brings lots of rich resources in the form of food so new nursing moms can provide plenty of nourishment to their offspring."

    "From the brand new eland calves tucked in the rocks by their mothers for protection, to the wildebeest calves seen frolicking with their herd but never straying far from mom, there are so many babies for guests to enjoy," she added.

    Park officials say guests can spot the majority of the young animals from the park’s Africa Tram Safari, Caravan Safari or Balloon Safari.

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