Meet The Newest Resident of Animal Kingdom!
Guests of Walt Disney World’s Animal got a special blend of Disney magic and natural wonder on January 14 when a Masai giraffe gave birth to a new calf. Guests visiting the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction even got to witness the birth firsthand! It was a miraculous moment for Guests and Cast Members. Disney provided a brief update on the mother and the new arrival on their blog stating, “We’ve been keeping a close eye on Mom and baby, who are doing well. Since birth, the pair have been backstage nursing and bonding and will continue to stay backstage for the next month or two before going back out on the savanna.”
In honor of the newest resident of Animal Kingdom, here are a few quick facts about the new giraffe and the giraffes of Animal Kingdom:
1. Meet The New Arrival
Disney hasn’t picked a name for the new giraffe yet. Cast Members will help choose a name and, if the past is any indication, they’ll likely be asking for help from the public. In November of 2018, Disney asked for public input on the naming of another giraffe calf. On that occasion, they settled on Amira, who officially joined the herd in December.
Though a name has not been selected, Disney has revealed the gender of the new giraffe, and it’s a boy.
As a side note, baby giraffes can stand and walk within the first hour of their life and are typically around six feet tall. That’s a big baby!
2. Where Can You See Giraffes At The Parks?
Guests can view giraffes a few different ways while visiting Walt Disney World. Visitors to Animal Kingdom Lodge may view them wandering the savanna near Jambo House and Kidani Village. Giraffes can also be spotted by taking a trip with Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom or by participating in the Savor the Savannah: Evening Safari Experience or the Wild Africa Trek. For a close encounter, Guests can take part in the Sense of Africa program at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
3. Where Do They Come From?
Giraffes are native to sub-Saharan Africa, making their home in countries like Kenya, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, and South Africa. They live in grassy plains like the savanna and in acacia woodlands.
4. Conservation Status?
It’s estimated that there are fewer than 100,000 left in the world. A 2011 survey found a population of 80,000 and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed them as a “vulnerable” species. Poaching and sustained habitat loss are just a few of the challenges facing giraffes.
5. What Is Disney Doing to Help?
According to Disney, they have donated over $70 million dollars through the Disney Conservation Fund since 1995. The money does not benefit giraffes only, but is used to “protect wildlife and save the planet.” Disney further states that, “The fund pairs philanthropic grants with contributions of expertise from many Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment professionals and other employees who work together to make an impact for people, wildlife and wild places.” As an example, programs like the “See African Cats, Save the Savannah” have worked with the African Wildlife Foundation protect over 65,000 acres of land in Kenya’s Amboseli Wildlife Corridor.
A trip to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge is a chance to fully immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the world, and the addition of this new baby giraffe is just one more reason to visit.