Disney's Animal Kingdom gets baby gorilla and baby hippo

‘It’s the circle of life:’ Baby gorilla and hippo are born just one day apart at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

  • Walt Disney World officials announced Thursday that a Nile hippopotamus calf and a baby western lowland gorilla were born just one day apart
  • The hippo calf was born on July 12 in the Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • The baby gorilla, meanwhile, was born on July 13
  • He made his Disney World debut last Monday at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, presented by OFF! Repellant
  • The parents were selected to create healthy and genetically diverse populations
  • More information about the babies’ sexes and weight is forthcoming 

The hundreds of visitors who are returning to Walt Disney World in the aftermath of the global pandemic get to see not one, but two adorable new additions. 

Walt Disney World officials announced on Thursday that the Nile hippopotamus calf and a baby western lowland gorilla were born just one day apart and have already made their Disney parks debut.

The Nile hippopotamus calf was born to parents Tuma and Henry on July 12 in the Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris, Disney World officials announced, and joined other family members in the safari. The resort now has a total of 10 hippos, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

A western lowland gorilla was born backstage on July 13 to mom Azizi and dad Gino

A Nile hippopotamus calf was born on July 12 in the Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris

The calf was born to Tuma and Henry, and has already started nuzzling against his mother

Disney World now has a total of 10 hippopotamuses at its Animal Kingdom

He has already started ‘nuzzling with mom and moving through the water like a pro,’ Scott Terrell, director of animal and science operations for Disney parks and resorts, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The baby gorilla, meanwhile, was born on July 13 to parents Azizi and Gino backstage, and was presented to the larger family shortly thereafter. 

He made his Disney World debut onstage at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, presented by OFF! Repellant, Disney officials said, and is the biological sibling to another ape, Cory, born in 2014.

Both sets of parents were paired through the Species Survives Plan, which is overseen by the Association of Zoo and Aquariums to ensure the ‘responsible breeding of vulnerable or critically endangered species – including Nile hippos and western lowland gorillas – to help create healthy, genetically diverse populations for years to come.’

The babies will be displayed in their natural habitats, as Disney officials give ‘both mothers ample time to nurse and bond with their newborns.’

More information about the babies’ sex and weight will be forthcoming, Terrell said. 

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