Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a new addition: a baby giraffe!
In the wee hours of Tuesday, Sept. 22, a baby female Masai giraffe was born backstage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
“Weighing in at 156 pounds, she is healthy, actively nursing, and was strong and feisty during her neonatal exam,” Scott Terrell, director of animal and science operations at Walt Disney World Park & Resorts, said in a blog post.
That’s one big baby! And now, everyone can see that her large size carries over to her adorable personality. Here’s the post from @DisneyParks, announcing the birth over social media and featuring a video.
Big news! It’s premiere day for “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” by @NatGeo on #DisneyPlus, and a female Masai giraffe calf 🦒 just made her big debut into the world. Find out more on the Disney Parks Blog: https://t.co/9L1BHtgYHi #MoDAK #DisneyAnimals pic.twitter.com/AOSFKyshR3
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) September 25, 2020
The new baby doesn’t have a name yet, but Terrell said it was clear she is doing well and bonding nicely with her mom, Mara. The mother and her calf will stay backstage at the theme park until the baby reaches appropriate developmental milestones. Once the little one has reached the proper maturity level, though, she will join Mara back out in the Kilimanjaro Safari grounds area of the park.
The new baby is actually the second calf born to Mara as part of the park’s participation in the giraffe’s Species Survival Plan, a cooperative inter-zoo program designed to oversee responsible management and breeding of endangered animals. Mara’s first calf, Jabari, was born in January 2019.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom made the birth announcement in conjunction with the premiere of the Disney+ documentary series “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” from National Geographic. It started streaming on Sept. 25, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how cast members of Disney’s Animal Kingdom take care of the 2,000 or so animals (representing 300 species) on park property.
The newest baby’s grandmother, Kenya, is featured in the first episode of the new show. Watch for her in one of the scenes where she gets a voluntary hoof trimming procedure.
That makes three generations of one giraffe family all in one park!
And, this isn’t the first baby news we’ve seen this week from Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Earlier in the week, park officials announced that three of their rhinos are pregnant!
Congratulations to Disney’s Animal Kingdom family. It looks like they’re going to be busy caring for all those adorable infants!