More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

New Species at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Emperor Tamarin and Addax

Guests visiting us now have the opportunity to see two species of animals that are new to Disney’s Animal Kingdom – the emperor tamarin in Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the addax on the Kilimanjaro Safaris. They join the more than 1,500 animals representing over 300 species that make their home at our theme park.

Emperor Tamarin at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom

A pair of emperor tamarins (gotta love the mustache!), a male and a female, have joined the cotton-top tamarins and the golden lion tamarins on the trail to Conservation Station in Rafiki’s Planet Watch. There are only 34 emperor tamarins in U.S. zoological parks, and the pair came to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as a recommendation from the Population Management Plan program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which means that a baby emperor tamarin would be a welcome event! Emperor tamarins naturally range in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.

Addax at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Five male addax, a kind of African antelope, recently made their debut on the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Addax are best known for their long, corkscrew horns. Once widespread across North Africa, the addax population has been severely reduced due to over-hunting. They also are impacted by long periods of drought. Addax are critically endangered with estimates indicating that there are fewer than 300 in the wild.

I never cease to be amazed at the wonderful diversity of wildlife! It’s a privilege to be able to provide our Guests with the opportunity to see animals of all shapes and sizes and to help them understand what all of us can do to protect wildlife and nature.


  • Awesome. I can’t wait to see them in person.

  • Is there any mention of Disney working on captive breeding with the addax?

    • Thank you for all the great comments! I asked Matt Hohne, Animal Operations Director at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to provide an answer to the questions about whether we plan to breed addax here. Matt’s response: We have no immediate plans to breed addax. Our initial focus with this species is to introduce them to our Guests, and animal collection, in an effort to share their conservation story. Even though we have only males, we are contributing to the overall conservation effort by housing this bachelor group which, in turn, allows other North American facilities to breed addax per Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendations. SSPs are an Association of Zoos and Aquariums conservation program that closely monitor the genetics of certain species of animals and then makes breeding recommendations to maximize genetic diversity. If the addax continue to do well, and we are confident they will, the potential to breed them at Disney’s Animal Kingdom exists.

  • I have seen the Addax. My husband and I just got back from Disney, and we saw them on our second day at Disney… which happened to be the Addax’s second day at Disney too! They are really neat creatures.

  • Hey does that tamarin build motorcycles?…..He is stachetastic!

  • can;t wait to see them friday!

  • We also saw the addax on their second day on safari, and they were phenomenal. In addition to being incredible (and photogenic) creatures in their right, seeing them so close on the heels of their introduction to the safari meant that the big cats were still trying to sort out what these new prey animals were that they were smelling, and they were much more active than usual. We got some good pictures of the cheetahs (hard to do, usually), and we got some fantastic shots of the lioness.

    We saw the emperor tamarins out at Rafiki’s that day too, which was very cool. I miss the cotton top tamarins being out at the front of the park, just in front of the tree of life, but I’m glad they’re still there to see.

  • The Tamarins look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Very cute. I hope I get to see the new animals in December!

  • Huge fan of these additions. I first found out about the Addax via Zoo Tycoon 2, and was able to see them out in San Diego last year.

    I can’t wait to see this in March.

    This was briefly talked about at the end of the WDW Fan Boys Podcast this week.

  • the tamarins are so funny looking, very cute. And the addax im also curious about breeding in captivity. Is there any plan to do so? Its unfortunate such beautiful animals have such low populations numbers

  • I love them all!!!

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