As you can see in this great photo by Gene Duncan, introduction to the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has started for our new baby elephant, Luna, born May 20. The introduction is part of a carefully developed plan by Disney’s Animal Programs animal care experts that included bonding time for Luna and her mom, introductions to other members of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom elephant herd, and even a swim test to prepare Luna for the ponds on the savannah.
During her introduction to the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah, Luna and her mom will spend part of the day on most days in an area of the savannah with their elephant family group—where Guests riding the safari may get a glimpse–and part of the day in their backstage home. Included in the family group are Luna’s mom, Donna; adult females, Vasha and Rafiki; and young females, Nadirah (Donna’s first calf) and Kianga (Vasha’s calf).
Because our top priority is excellent care for Luna, during the introduction period, her time out on the savannah may be limited and vary from day to day. Of course, the Kilimanjaro Safaris is always a fantastic adventure because each safari provides a different experience and wildlife viewing is always great!
Facts about the Disney’s Animal Kingdom elephant herd:
- The elephant herd has thirteen members–five males and eight females.
- Five baby elephants (Tufani, Kianga, Nadirah, Tsavo and Luna) have been born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All remain on the savannah.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.
- The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Disney Foundation have directed over $1 million to projects in 20 countries to help protect and conserve elephants.