I am delighted to announce that Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcomed not one, but two new bundles of joy to the Disney family this week. On Monday, the park celebrated the arrival of a healthy Nile hippopotamus calf. And just one day later, there was more excitement with the birth of a healthy western lowland gorilla.
Gorilla mom Azizi welcomed her infant backstage Tuesday afternoon. She later introduced the baby to the entire family troop and had the chance to bond onstage at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail presented by OFF! Repellents. Azizi and the baby’s father Gino, are also the proud parents to the infant’s big brother Cory, who was born in 2014.
Meanwhile, the lovable hippopotamus calf made a splashy debut Monday in the Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris, joining nine other hippos in the family, or bloat. The calf is nuzzling with mom and moving through the water like a pro.
Both Azizi and Gino, parents to the newborn gorilla, and Tuma and Henry, parents to the adorable hippopotamus calf, were paired through the Species Survival Plan, a program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The plan ensures responsible breeding of vulnerable or critically endangered species – including Nile hippopotamuses and western lowland gorillas – to help create healthy, genetically diverse populations for years to come.
Our animal care team is giving both mothers ample time to nurse and bond with their newborns, and we look forward sharing more updates with you, including the sex and weight of each new arrival, soon.
Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog as we share more details on our newest arrivals to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Park guests may even catch a peek of the Tuma and her calf on Kilimanjaro Safaris or Azizi and her baby at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail presented by OFF! Repellents and discover how nature holds the truest magic of all.