There’s a new addition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World, and it’s great news for the fight to save endangered species. A baby white rhinoceros was born to mom Kendi on Sunday morning, according to a Disney Parks Blog post.
Baby rhinos can weigh up to 140 pounds at birth, Disney said. The adorable new arrival, a boy, was nursing, standing and walking within the first hour after he was born. The beautiful little calf, who hasn’t been named yet, will spend a few weeks bonding with his mom backstage before they both join the rest of the herd, which can be seen by park guests during the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction.
White rhinos are an endangered species with near-threatened status, so it’s great to see their numbers growing.
“Kendi was paired with dad Dugan through one of the Species Survival Plans, which are overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure the responsible breeding of endangered species,” Scott Terrell, director of animal and science operations at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, explained in the blog post.
More little rhinos are on their way at the park next year, with two other pregnant rhinos expecting in 2021. Jao is due in the fall, and Lola is expected to give birth fall or winter of next year, Disney said.
The white rhinos of Disney’s Animal Kingdom are featured in the new National Geographic docu-series, “The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” The eight-part series, narrated by Josh Gad, streams on Disney+ and takes viewers behind the scenes to tell stories about the care, conservation and Walt Disney Imagineering involved in giving a home to more than 5,000 animals and 300 species at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT.
Congratulations to the proud parents and Disney’s Animal Kingdom caretakers. We can’t wait to watch these little babes grow up!