Rare Baby Okapi Makes His Debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Animal Kingdom, WDW Blog

A rare baby Okapi named Elijah has officially made his debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Learn all about this fascinating addition.

Last year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrated its 25th anniversary. The park also celebrated a pretty big milestone, with more than 300 new animals born so far this year! The range of births has included aquatic animals at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT, as well as mammals at Disney’s Animal KingdomDisney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds.

Baby Okapi Elijah Joins the Animal Kingdom Family

Among the animals born last year was Elijah, an adorable baby Okapi born in October 2023. And now, Elijah has officially made his debut in the park! Elijah is notable for being the first baby Okapi to make his debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom since 2012. He is the 14th okapi born at Walt Disney World and has officially joined his mom onstage on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

Photo Courtesy of Disney

Like other animals in the park, Elijah’s birth was made possible with the help of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. This program helps to ensure responsible breeding for endangered species, as well as species that face threats like poaching or habitat loss.

Elijah’s Name Honors a Special Cast Member

Elijah’s namesake is particularly special because he was named after a 50-year Cast Member! Cast Member Elijah first joined Magic Kingdom in June 1973, before transferring to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998. Elijah plays a pivotal role in the horticulture department, maintaining the habitats of the park, and creating an environment that ensures the enrichment of the animals. It’s for those reasons that he serves as the namesake for baby Okapi Elijah.

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

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Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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