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Special Edition – Wildlife Friday: Karibuni! Welcome A Baby Gorilla To Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Rachel Daneault

by , Primate-Carnivore Zoological Manager

Hamjambo! This is a Swahili greeting guests may hear at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as they make their way through Africa to experience the sights, sounds and attractions of the area inspired by the diversity of the country. Another Swahili term is ‘karibuni’ which means welcome. Guests who travel down the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail may be among the first to help welcome the newest member of the gorilla family troop!


The Animal Programs team reported that mom, Azizi, has been doing great with her new baby boy. During the first days of an infant’s life, mom needs to learn how to locomote while the infant clings to her body. Nursing and learning how to cling to mom without assistance are among the first essential skills for this little guy. Usually, within the first week, the infant is clinging with all four limbs and mom may return to quadrapedal locomotion.


As with any new baby, there is a lot of curiosity about the newest member of the group especially from 4 year old, Lilly. Both Azizi and Gino (silverback/dad) have been disciplining her appropriately if she gets too rambunctious. So far, she has touched him gently on the head.

The new baby, which is yet to be named, is the fourth 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. The first gorilla birth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom occurred in 1997 before the park opened, the second baby arrived in 1999 and the third was born in 2010.

Join us in saying ‘karibuni’ to the newest member of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom family!


  • I watch Azizi grow up at the san diego zoo. she had such a hard time at first, It is wonderful to see her as a mother.
    Has she been able to keep the baby with her, how is he during, what did you name him.

  • We can stand for quite awhile watching these beautiful creatures. I am so excited to see this new little baby!!

  • I have throughly enjoyed watching Lilly grow and can’t wait to see her new brother. Is this new baby a full or half brother? Also will she stay at AK or eventually go to another place to have her own family?

  • Well, he’s just adorable! When is he going to be named? And, now that I think of it, who at the park usually gets the job of naming the baby animals?

  • james’ wife here – KARIBUNI! Cuteness to the nth degree! and I agree with #5 Sarah – get a webcam, what a great idea!

  • So wish there was a live cam we could see of them!

  • Welcome to the blog Ms. Rachel!

  • We were mesmerized watching the males play when we visited. One silverback ran from place to place playing with a large bowl. At one time he had everyone laughing cause he placed it on hi head and ran around. We spent a long time just watching them frolick. How exciting to have this new addition.

  • Karibuni! Welcome to the world baby girl. How exciting to see the growth of a once close to being extinct species of primates. To see these majestic “silverback” Gorilla males interact in the Pangani Exploration Trail is just awe inspiring. We watched as a very large silverback used a cup to drink out of a small stream running through the male gorilla habitat, it was nothing short of
    So excited for the future generation of these amazing primates!
    With only around 700 of this most endangered type of gorilla living in the world, its encouraging to see this birth.
    Thanks for sharing.

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