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Endangered Gorilla Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on March 1st, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

UPDATE MARCH 6: The team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom says the baby gorilla is a girl and her name is Lilly — in honor of the late Alecia Lilly, Ph.D., who was senior scientist and vice president of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

Kashata with her new born at Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

What better way to begin a week than with a stunning first image of the newest member of the family at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – a critically endangered western lowland gorilla. And the best part is that you can see the newborn gorilla now at the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

The newborn gorilla (photographed by Gene Duncan) is doing well and has already become an integral part of the gorilla family group that includes first-time mother, Kashata, father Gino and two other females. Since Kashata has been holding the baby close to her body, animal keepers have yet to determine the baby’s gender.

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.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Brittney on March 1st, 2010 at 1:47 pm

aww so adorable. i am going up to Disney this coming saturday & i cannot wait to see


Thomas Smith on March 1st, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Great to hear…let us know if you get a glimpse of the newborn gorilla along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.


Cindy on March 1st, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Im going in Sept. cant wait to see her or him. I love how her or his mother looks like she’s smiling


Sharon on March 1st, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I’m going in Sept as well. Wish I could come now to see the tiny little one but I’ll still enjoy the baby. I so love observing gorillas.


kim on March 1st, 2010 at 1:58 pm

So adorable! Not sure when we are going back since we were there in November. I also agree with cindy about how the mother is smiling with proudness. These animals are so much like humans! Happy birthday to you new baby!


Dina on March 1st, 2010 at 2:13 pm

SO beautiful! Oh I wish I was going again soon (we were just there last spring)… I love these gorillas!


Jennifer from PA on March 1st, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Just showed the picture to my daughter Julia, who is 4, and she said, Mommy, you can tell it is a boy because it doesn’t have eye lashes. Lol. So cute!


Kristie from IN on March 1st, 2010 at 2:17 pm

She’s beautiful!! I wish I could be there to see it!! The gorilla’s are my favorite part of Disney!


Lindsey from TX on March 1st, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Were gonna be there the 12th through the 20th. Hopefully we’ll get to see the little guy!


Carol from IL on March 1st, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I saw mama and baby last week, when the baby was 3 days old. I have a couple great pictures of them.


Jamie on March 1st, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I just showed this picture to my son and daughter and they were so excited to see the new baby. We are going in April and cannot wait to see this new addition to Animal Kingdom!!


anne on March 1st, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Yeah, I’ve been waiting with baited breathe for Disney to announce this birth. We saw the new mom with baby on his/her birthdate with umbilical cord still attached! The cast member I spoke with mentioned that the baby was a little premature. I was hoping that nothing bad had happened.


katherine on March 1st, 2010 at 5:07 pm

The Animal Park is my very favorite part of Disney! Going in Sept. for the fifth time…can’t wait.


melissa from VA on March 1st, 2010 at 6:08 pm



Adrienne on March 1st, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Can’t wait to see the baby next week when we are in FL!


Sara from MD on March 1st, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Sooo cute! I’m going in May and can’t wait to meet the newest addition at the Animal Kingdom.


alyson from IN on March 1st, 2010 at 6:43 pm

What’s sweeter than a new baby!


Annette on March 1st, 2010 at 7:15 pm

My son and I will be there at the end of this month for his 8th birthday. Cant wait to see the new baby. My son will be excited as well. How precious!!!


Jacqueline from IN on March 1st, 2010 at 8:52 pm

What a beautiful photo! Absolutely precious!


Jessica from PA on March 1st, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Adorable! Can’t wait to see the baby when we’re there in May!

You can definitely see Mama smiling in that photo. Absolutely precious.


CHRIS on March 1st, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I saw the baby the day after it was born. I even managed to get some great pictures.


Danyiel from FL on March 1st, 2010 at 10:10 pm

I think that this is wonderful to see and have happen. I am glad that you guys take care of all our beautiful animals and help ensure a good home for all the new babies that you help the animals to make. I wish that I could come and see each and everyone shortly after they were born, but I must wait till the next trip down! CONGRATS!


Amysue on March 1st, 2010 at 11:35 pm

We were so lucky to be there the day after baby was born. we could see mom curled up with the baby, but too far for us to really spot the baby. Still, it was pretty cool.

Loved seeing the Naked Mole Rat colony again-they are my favorite non-insect insects!


Krista on March 2nd, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Absolutely beautiful!


Enna on March 3rd, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I saw her pregnant in November, and I’m so happy to see that she and baby are doing well!!! I will be looking forward to getting “After” photos in May!
Beautiful, seeing life beginning as a wonderful contribution to our planet.


Lynne from PA on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:26 pm

I am going next week can’t wait to see the baby!


Evie on March 4th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

This is Great news!!! I hope to see her someday!! I too tend to believe that it looks like the baby gorilla’s Mama is smiling :)


Julie on March 4th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

We will be there in June! We cannot wait. I certainly hope we get to see her.


Thomas on March 4th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Fantastic! Coming to see her March 15th!


Diana from sonora on March 4th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Absolutely adorableeee!!! its true mama gorila looks like she is smiling, luv the picture…
awwwww being a mother, luv it


Kathy on March 5th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

She’s adorable…!!


Rochelle on March 5th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

My (barely) adult twin daughters and son have their first WDW this coming May. Our first activity is Backstage Safari. I can’t wait to show them the gorilla’s afterward!


Rochelle on March 5th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

TATU … it’s Swahili for ‘third child’ … she’s the third gorilla born to the Disney family


Thomas on March 8th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

We Are Going To Walt Disney World On March 23 2010 And Will Be In Animal Kingdom On March 24! I Hope My Wife And I And Are 2 year old Daughter And Our 18 Month Old Son Will Be Able See The New Baby !!!! I Can’t Wait !!!!!


Christa from GA on March 10th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

We saw her this past weekend and got some cute shots, but nothing as good as this one. I can’t wait for a return trip so I can see her running around and stirring up trouble in her group.


John on March 20th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Just went last weekend and loved it! Mom & Baby were right next to the glass.


jacqueline from NY on March 30th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

The Gorillas are my favorite at the Animal Kingdom! Congratulations!