The NEW 165-Pound (!!!) Disney World Addition You NEED To See 😍

The beauty of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is, well…it’s full of animals.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

But Animal Kingdom isn’t just a place where Disney showcases animals from all over the world. No, Disney also does a great deal with animal conservation and has a breeding program in place to help increase the numbers of species that are endangered. Well, a new baby animal has been born at Animal Kingdom…but its story is even more special thanks to the Cast Member who inspired its name.

Meet Elijah. Elijah is an adorable baby Okapi who was born in October 2023 and recently made his debut on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Elijah is the 14th Okapi born in Disney World and the first baby Okapi since 2012. When he was born, Elijah only weighed 46 pounds, but now he weighs in at 165 pounds.

Meet Elijah

Disney works with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan to make births like Elijah’s possible. This program sees to responsible breeding of endangered species, like the Okapi, that currently face threats due to poaching and loss of habitat.

Elijah and his mom

But the story here isn’t just about Elijah. It’s also about how Elijah got his name. Elijah is named after a Cast Member who has worked at Disney World for 50 years! Cast Member Elijah started working in Magic Kingdom in 1973 and then transferred to the horticulture department of Animal Kingdom when it opened in 1998. He helps create and maintain the habitats for ALL the animals at Animal Kingdom. According to Disney, “His passion and dedication to his role has made him a cherished cast member, and what better way to honor him than to name a rare okapi after him?”

Cast Member Elijah

Isn’t that so sweet?

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What’s your favorite animal to see at Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!

The post The NEW 165-Pound (!!!) Disney World Addition You NEED To See 😍 first appeared on the disney food blog.