disney’s animal kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom to test Guided Trek through Savannah

Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park has announced it is developing a new, immersive experience that will take small groups of guests on personalized, guided treks through some of the savannah areas of the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition attraction. During these excursions, guests will be able… Read More »Disney’s Animal Kingdom to test Guided Trek through Savannah

Disney Animal Researchers discover Elephant Warning Call

I grew up going to the Zoo in Portland, Oregon. It was known for it’s family of elephants and the excellent care they received. I remember meeting one researcher who had parked herself just outside the elephant observation area with some interesting recording devices. Turns… Read More »Disney Animal Researchers discover Elephant Warning Call

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Endangered Gorilla baby

Got yet another cute baby from the baby factory that is Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Reports started last week that there was a baby gorilla out in the park. Turns out the as yet unnamed infant was born February 19th. Here’s the first official photo:

Now guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom are getting a special treat along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail where they can get a rare glimpse of the newborn gorilla. The critically endangered western lowland gorilla, whose gender is still unknown, is doing well and has already become an integral member of the gorilla family group which includes first-time mother, Kashata, father Gino, and two other females, Benga and Hope.

Members of the primate team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are encouraged by Kashata’s natural instincts at motherhood. First-time mothers often experience difficulty knowing the right things to do. They must learn to properly hold the baby and adapt to a demanding nursing schedule. Kashata has been a model mother from the moment the baby was born, said Matt Hohne, animal operations director for Disney’s Animal Programs. “She immediately knew how to properly hold the baby and her nursing skills have been exemplary.”

Since Kashata has been holding the baby close to her body, animal keepers have yet to determine the baby’s gender. Most gorilla mothers keep their offspring close for several months while the baby adjusts to the environment. In addition, gorilla babies typically nurse for approximately 12 months and may be weaned between the ages of four and five.

The new baby is the third gorilla born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan which manages genetic diversity among species through detailed records of individual animals. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also participates in AZA Species Survival Plans for several other animals, including elephants, cotton-top tamarins and okapi. The first gorilla birth occurred in 1997 before Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened, and the second baby arrived in 1999.

Congrats to everyone on Disney’s animal care team. More gorilla facts below the jump:

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Two Baby Giraffes join Disney’s Animal Kingdom Herd

Cute alert! The Walt Disney World Resort recently welcomed two male calves to the giraffe herd at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Bolo and Bruehler are the 13th and 14th giraffes to be born at DAK since the park opened in 1998. Disney has only provide photos of Bolo for some reason.

Bolo - Baby Giraffe from Disney's Animal Kingdom

Weighing 153 pounds, Bolo was born Oct. 12 to second-time mother Big Girl, who first birthed a female calf in November 2005. On Oct. 5, the Disney’s Animal Programs team helped to deliver 166-pound calf Bruehler from third-time mother Aibuni.

Both calves and mothers appear to be doing well according to veterinarians and animal care managers. As newborns, both male calves stand nearly six feet tall and could grow to be as tall as 15 – 18 feet as adults. The young males, who began nursing successfully soon after birth, are already feisty and very active.

“The next important milestone is for the calves to continue the bonding process with their mothers who will teach them important lessons and guide them as they are introduced to the herd in the coming weeks,” said Matt Hohne, Animal Operations Director at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Fun Facts about Giraffes and another cute photo below the cut:

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom mini-update

Had two relatively brief trips to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this last week. The park appears to be in a stable mode right now. A few small changes here and there, like the meet and great that replaced the smoking zone, but over all the park has settled into a good rhythm.

It still needs more attractions (rides, shows, and/or parades) to help extend it into a full day park (with a 6pm closing on a Saturday, even Disney doesn’t expect guests to stick around). Much has been planned, but as far as I know, nothing is green lit for construction right now.

Labor cutbacks have taken the shine off some of the parks previously polished edges. There is more trash on the ground, fewer costumed cast members around in stores, and more management types out in the park (which is a good thing if you ask me).

I did not see new park Vice President Kevin Lansberry, but I did get a chance to explore the park and the stores. So here’s a quick update below the cut:

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