Beni the Okapi recently made his debut on the Pembe Savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World announced that their animal care experts were starting the year by introducing Beni to the savanna. This marks a crucial step for the okapi born in July at Walt Disney World.
Beni began investigating the savanna with his mom Olivia prodding him on. Since Beni the Okapi has grown to four feet tall and weighs around 230 pounds. Walt Disney World says that Beni is becoming more independent during this time.
Okapis are endangered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, their home country. However, they possess great skill in camouflaging themselves in the rainforest. So, guests receive a special treat by seeing Okapi on the savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The Okapi should be easier to see here than during the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction at ‘Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
Beni the Okapi is the first calf of mom Olivia and dad Elombe. Beni’s birth was done as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. This plan safeguards the conscientious breeding of threatened and endangered species in managed care. These programs allow people to experience animals like this up close at accredited institutions nationwide.
Walt Disney World continues its history of supporting conservation organizations that protect okapis and the forests they call home. For example, the Disney Conservation Fund helps monitor wild okapi populations, reduce deforestation, and support the well-being of local communities who share the forest with this iconic species.
Disney also stated with this update about Beni that the second season of the “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” became available on Disney+ this month. During that series, viewers receive a behind-the-scenes look at how our animal care teams worked with Olivia during her pregnancy and helped her deliver Beni.
Have you ever visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? Will you watch the new season of “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” on Disney+? Let us know in the comments below.
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