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Wildlife Wednesdays: Excellent Care Includes a Visit to the Veterinary Hospital for New Gorilla at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Scott Terrell

by , DVM, DACVP, Director of Animal & Science Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Excellence in animal care is a top priority at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and our Animal Health team provides a wide array of veterinary services to care for the animals that make their home here. These include regular wellness exams, surgical procedures, oversight of pregnancies and births, and emergency medicine.

Included among the wellness exams is what we refer to as a quarantine exam. When an animal comes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, that animal spends time in a special area known as quarantine to help ensure that they won’t pass along any diseases when they join the rest of the animals in their group. A quarantine exam by our veterinarians is part of this process.

Azizi, A New Female Gorilla Who Recently Joined the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Family

A few months ago, a new female gorilla, Azizi, joined the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family. Here’s a video of Azizi’s quarantine exam.

Now, guests can see Azizi with the rest of our gorilla family group on Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Our primate team shared that Azizi spends lots of time playing with young gorilla Lilly, who is now three years old, and doing great.

Did you know?

  • The state-of-the-art veterinary facilities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom include an X-ray room, ultrasound equipment, surgical suites and full-service laboratories. Veterinarians and technicians use these tools to focus on preventative health and creating new methods to diagnose and treat animals, ranging in size from a two-gram poison dart frog to a 13,000-pound African elephant.
  • During a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests can find out how Disney is helping save some special primates — orphan gorillas in Africa — at GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center) with help from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). The DWCF has given more than $2 million to support conservation projects that protect primates.


  • Is there any way of finding out what procedures are being performed on a daily basis to view before visiting? We just arrived at WDW last night and have 2 if not 3 visits planned to DAK and might plan one around seeing the vets in action if we knew what they were in advance.

    • Schedules can change, for example, if our veterinarians need to respond to a medical emergency, but nearly every day in the morning, starting about 10 a.m., procedures are taking place at the hospital in Conservation Station. We hope you will stop by!

  • The ladies (and dad) were elusive the day we visited AK at the end of September. I can’t wait to watch Lilly and her new friend interact on my next trip. I really hope Lilly will have a step-sister or sister in 2014!

  • Excellent. Thank you Disney for caring for so many animals and plants and for helping to take care of our planet! We’re going to WDW this holidays, including the Wild Africa Trek, can’t wait!

  • 6 days and counting!!! DS/3years and I are coming over for the Halloween Party and a day @ the Animal Kingdom; he has recently become very interested in all things animals! Thanks for this post, as we now have put the Gorillas on our To-Do list! (:

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