The holidays are a time to celebrate the heartwarming moments in life, and we’re extra thankful this year because for the first time in seven years, an African elephant calf was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
The beautiful baby elephant is backstage bonding with mom Nadirah, and she is already bringing plenty of joy to our animal care team this holiday season. And at just 218 pounds, she is absolutely adorable! African elephant births like these are carefully planned through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. This program helps ensure the responsible breeding of endangered animals in managed care.
This is Nadirah’s first calf, making this birth extra special because Nadirah herself was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2005, making her the first second-generation calf. Since this is Nadirah’s first birth, her sister Luna was there to guide and comfort her throughout the process. The calf will soon get to meet her grandma, Donna, and her other aunt, Stella, too. It’s common for adult females in the herd to assist in raising young elephants until they are considered to be independent, typically around 8 years old. Meaning, these family bonds will only grow stronger as the calf gets older.
Nadirah became pregnant through natural breeding in early 2022, and she’s received special care from our animal care team for the entirety of her nearly 22-month pregnancy. It takes a team of dedicated cast members to care for a pregnant elephant and eventually, her newborn calf.
Under the expert care of animal keepers, our veterinary team and scientists, mother and baby will undergo continued post-natal exams and spend several days bonding before they are ready to join the rest of the herd. During this bonding period, the elephant team is watching for the pair to share key moments like successful nursing and weight gain.
@disneyparks Meet the newest Disney baby elephant, Corra 🐘 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #AnimalKingdom #Elephant #BabyElephant #Baby #Animal ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
From animal keepers who carefully observed the expecting mom to endocrinologists who monitored hormone patterns and veterinarians who helped manage the overall health of the calf, we’ll be sharing all the major milestones that led up to the birth and beyond. Check back on the Disney Parks Blog for updates and sweet behind-the-scenes moments with mom Nadirah and her newborn baby girl named Corra!