Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Baby Warthogs and Oryx Join Disney’s Animal Kingdom Family

posted on July 13th, 2010 by Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks


I’m proud to share a couple of photos, taken by Gene Duncan, of some new additions to the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family.

Baby Warthogs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Remember Pumbaa from “The Lion King?” Three real-life Pumbaas – baby warthogs, all males – were born July 1. This is the first litter for their mom, who is doing an excellent job raising her offspring. The births are a result of a recommendation of the warthog Population Management Plan program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

In the wild, warthogs face challenges related to habitat destruction. Counting the new piglets, we now have four male and two female warthogs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney’s Animal Programs animal care experts expect the baby warthogs, which are currently in their backstage home, to be out on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah with their mom in several weeks.

Oryx at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

In late June, two male scimitar-horned oryx calves also were born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. One arrived via natural birth; the other, due to difficulties during birth that put the mother and calf at risk, was delivered by Caesarean section in view of our Guests at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom veterinary hospital at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Guests who had the opportunity to see the birth told us they felt privileged to witness such a rare event.

Scimitar-horned oryx are extinct in the wild due to poaching and other challenges, and efforts are under way to reintroduce this species to protected areas of Senegal, Africa. The births are a result of a recommendation of the scimitar-horned oryx Species Survival Plan program coordinated by the AZA. With the new calves, we now have four males and five females in the scimitar-horned oryx herd at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The oryx moms and their calves are bonding in their backstage home, and a date has not yet been determined for them to go out on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah.

Conservation fun fact: The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has provided more than $100,000 to programs helping to conserve scimitar-horned oryx, including efforts to reintroduce them to their native habitats.

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7 Comments

1

Ann from TX on July 13th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

VERY good news, Disney! Especially about the oryx! Here’s hoping that someday the AZA and other zoological societies around the world can bring this incredibly endangered species back to a good population that can live in the wild as they were intended.

2

Tere from AL on July 13th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

How wonderful! New babies of any kind are such a blessing from God! Even a stinky little Pumba!

3

Stella from NJ on July 13th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Can’t wait to see them!We will be there in Aug.

4

Melissa from MA on July 13th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

This is great news. Thanks for sharing.

5

Shari on July 13th, 2010 at 3:38 pm

We hated Animal Kingdom the first time we went, when the kids were little. Hot, no shade, long lines. We went back years later, when the kids were much older. It was great. Less pressure, went later in the day instead of the crack of dawn like they say you should to see the most animals. We saw tons of animals on the safari, the kids were happy to walk on trails, we weren’t worried about having to feed them before they got crabby, found lots of Hidden Mickeys, it was one of our best days. Actually, everything is better when they are older and not crabby about the heat, etc.

6

Tamera from CA on July 14th, 2010 at 2:33 am

Yay for Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

7

Rob from OH on July 14th, 2010 at 11:27 am

That’s wonderful news!! Congratulations!

7 Comments