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Wild Africa Trek arrives at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Editor: Please welcome back guest author Shelley Caran who was gracious enough to step in and cover the media event for the Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that was held earlier today.

As I was walking up to the check-in desk for the ‘Wild Africa Trek’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I realized that I had no clue what I was in for!

This three-hour immersive experience challenges you to use all of your senses as you follow your expert guides through the forest, over the jungle, near the edge of a cliff, and in the peaceful savannah.

After you are geared up and observed going over the “kid’s rope bridge” in Harambe, it quickly sets in that this will not to be your typical Disney experience. On the Trek, there is no themed pavement. There are branches, stumps, and loose footings. Nature isn’t created, it is celebrated.

Our introduction into the Trek was a brief visit to the Pangani Forest where we were introduced to the Gorillas and took our first steps off the beaten path.

Leaving the last step of the ladder, we started our walk to a unique view of the hippos. Our on gear was a six foot line that could be attached to a rail, which allowed us to get up the edge of the pools for a viewing of the hippos as they were fed by a researcher.

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A report from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

WDW is trying out the new tram doors that have been at Disneyland for about a year. There is one of Disney’s Florida theme parks I’ve been neglecting. I haven’t been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom since April. Turns out DAK was much as I left… Read More »A report from Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest’s Yeti Troubles Explored

The Orlando Sentinel has a short piece running on the adventures, or lack their of, of the giant Yeti mechanical beast at the end of Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The gist is that while Disney won’t disclose their plans, Disney fans… Read More »Expedition Everest’s Yeti Troubles Explored

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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