Busch Gardens Tampa is excited to welcome three Marabou stork chicks. The first two chicks hatched on April 3, and the third chick hatched on April 5.
First-time parents Fig and Reba took turns watching over the eggs for 30 days, which is the incubation period for Marabou storks. Fig was also hatched at Busch Gardens more than 10 years ago.
Two of the chicks, along with the parents, can be seen on the Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens. Guests can catch a glimpse of Busch Garden’s newest animal residents by taking a ride on the Serengeti Railway or on a Serengeti Safari.
The third chick is behind-the-scenes at the state-of-the-art Animal Care Center. Marabou stork parents typically raise two chicks, so the Busch Gardens animal care team, with the guidance of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), made the decision to hand-rear the third chick.
All three chicks are healthy and steadily growing as they approach their first month at Busch Gardens. Marabou Storks can reach a height of 60 inches with a 7 to 9-foot wingspan. Additionally, their bill can reach lengths of 14 inches.