July 2021 was a big month for babies being born to the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as the park welcomed several new arrivals.
A Nile Hippopotamus calf made a splashy debut July 12 in the park’s Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris, joining nine other hippos in the family (also called a bloat), including mother Tuma and father Henry.
The team is giving Tuma and her newborn ample time to nurse and bond, so the calf’s gender and weight might not be known for some time.
The following day, Western Lowland Gorilla mom Azizi gave birth backstage at the theme park Tuesday afternoon and introduced the baby to the entire family troop soon thereafter. The infant may now be seen onstage at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail presented by OFF! Repellents.
The new arrival marks 12 gorillas currently in Disney’s care.
Both sets of parents were paired through the Species Survival Plan, a program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The plan ensures responsible breeding of vulnerable or critically endangered species – including Nile Hippopotamuses and Western Lowland Gorillas – to help create healthy, genetically diverse populations for years to come.
Finally, Humphrey, a Masai Giraffe calf, made his savanna debut July 29. He was born June 10, but spent time backstage bonding with mom Lily. He can be seen on Kilimanjaro Safaris, and can be recognized by the heart-shaped markings dotting his coat.
Aren’t they just adorable? What are your favorite animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let me know in the comments.
[Images courtesy of Walt Disney World; David Roark, photographer]