Animal Kingdom Lodge Welcomes Baby Okapi

Courtney ReynoldsAnimal Kingdom, Blog

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge announced the birth of an adorable baby okapi calf on October 18th, World Okapi Day.

In honor of World Okapi Day, Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., today announced the birth of an okapi at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. (David Roark, photographer)

Welcome Baby Okapi!

On October 1st, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge welcomed a baby okapi calf to parents Zelda and Mandazi. Disney announced the birth on October 18th in honor of World Okapi Day. Upon birth, the calf weighed 54 pounds. He was even up and walking within the first hour of his birth!

The calf and his parents will remain in a backstage habitat for several months while animal keepers observe the animal and allow him to bond with his mother. Just take a look at how cute he is in this Disney Parks Blog video!

Like Lily and George, the parents of the baby giraffe born at Animal Kingdom this past summer, Zelda and Mandazi were selected to breed for the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP is essential to the long-term survival of threatened or endangered species by ensuring responsible breeding.

 

In honor of World Okapi Day, Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., today announced the birth of an okapi at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. (David Roark, photographer)

Okapi are an endangered species with an estimated population of only 20,000. Like many other endangered species, the okapi population is on the decline due to poaching and habitat loss.

Disney Conservation Fund

With the help of the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney has been working with the Okapi Conservation Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help save this species. If you’d like to learn more about the okapi and the threats they face in the wild, visit DisneyAnimals.com.

Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge can get a glimpse of over 30 species of African wildlife including zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and soon the baby okapi – when he’s ready to make his savanna debut, of course!

By Courtney Reynolds

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About the Author

Courtney Reynolds

Courtney is a Photographer for WDW Magazine and former Disney Cast Member. She is originally from New England, but is currently enjoying life in Orlando where you will often find her with a camera in one hand and a coffee in the other. She also loves tacos, Donald Duck, riding roller coasters, and celebrating Halloween. For more about Courtney, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.