Disney World is HAUNTED and you might have even seen some of the resident ghosts on property.
We’re not talking about the 999 happy haunts at the Haunted Mansion or even the glamorous stars at the Hollywood Tower (of Terror) Hotel. No, these ghosts are much less spooky and quite a bit more solid. We’re talking about the okapis in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
You might be wondering why we’re saying that Disney World is haunted by okapi. Let us explain. These animals are commonly called “the ghosts of the forest” because of their shy and elusive nature.
If you’re lucky, you might spot them on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Animal Kingdom or on the savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. And if you’re VERY lucky, you might soon spot the newest member of the herd — an okapi calf who was recently born to first-time parents Oliva and Elombe! Take a look at the adorable calf in Disney’s video:
Bani is named after a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is a native area for okapis. He was born on July 17th, 2022, and currently weighs just below 100 pounds and stands a little over 3 feet tall from hoof to shoulder. Disney reports that he may grow to “between five and six feet tall and up to 650 pounds”!
Beni is the 12th okapi born at Disney World, and his keepers report that he’s a very active little guy. The keepers have been carefully monitoring him to make sure he’s growing well and staying healthy. Mom Olivia has been caring for her baby, and the two have spent a lot of time bonding over the last few months.
If you’ve been on Kilimanjaro Safaris before, you may know that, while the striped legs of the okapis might make you think of zebras, they’re actually very closely related to giraffes. Okapis are endangered in the wild, and there are only an estimated 20,000 left in the world. That’s part of the reason that Beni’s birth is so important — he’s part of a species survival plan to ensure “responsible breeding of threatened species in managed care.” Disney works with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to protect wildlife and conserve the environments of endangered species.
Beni’s parents usually hang out at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna, so he’ll make his own debut on the Pembe Savanna in the coming months.
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Have you seen any baby animals in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!
The post There’s a NEW Baby Animal “Haunting” Disney World! first appeared on the disney food blog.