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August 16, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. (August 16, 2007)- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s animal care specialists are planning a special first birthday party for Dakari, a female white rhinoceros born at the adventure park. Dakari will be treated to new enrichment toys as well as treats made out of hay and alfalfa. The celebration is an example of animal enrichment used by the park’s zoological team to keep the animals in their care active and engaged. Enrichment can take many forms and is usually something different, unusual and challenging that stimulates the animals.

Dakari lives with her mother, Mlelani, and father Tambo and two other white rhinos on Busch Gardens’ 26-acre Serengeti Plain. Hartmann’s zebra, defassa waterbuck, wildebeest and African crowned cranes also make their home on the habitat. The three adult white rhinos were airlifted from Kruger National Park in South Africa in 2001 through the efforts of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of rhinos. According to the IRF, just over 11,000 white rhinos remain in the wild, and fewer than 160 live in zoological facilities across North America.

Busch Gardens participates in the American Zoological and Aquarium Association (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure genetic diversification among threatened and endangered animals in zoological facilities. Dakari’s birth brings the total white and black rhino population at the adventure park to 11.

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund helps to fund conservation organizations, research and animal rescue worldwide. Through the Conservation Fund, Busch Gardens offers a unique 45-minute safari tour in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that gives guests the opportunity to experience up-close encounters with the park’s white rhinos, endangered black rhinos and a variety of other animals as they traverse the 65-acre Serengeti Plain. For each tour purchased, Busch Gardens donates $2 to support WWF’s critical field efforts.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Public Relations, (813) 987-5090

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