Babies abound at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer, which has seen multiple births over the past few weeks. Adding the pitter-patter of tiny hooves to the herd: three baby warthogs and two oryx calves.
Earlier this month, Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcomed three baby warthogs, all males — born July 1. This is the first litter for their mother, who is doing an excellent job raising her offspring. The three new piglets increase the warthog population at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to six, including four males and two females. Disney’s animal care experts expect the baby warthogs, which are currently in their backstage home, to join their mothers on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna in several weeks. There, these animals will help guests learn more about the challenges that warthogs face in the wild due to habitat destruction.
In late June, two male scimitar-horned oryx calves also were born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Scimitar-horned oryx are extinct in the wild due to poaching and other challenges. Efforts are under way to reintroduce this species to protected areas of Senegal, Africa. With the new calves, Disney’s Animal Kingdom now has four males and five females in the herd. The oryx moms and their calves are bonding in their backstage home.
“We are proud that guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom have the opportunity to see wildlife that are extinct in the wild, like the scimitar-horned oryx, and fascinating species like the warthog,” said Matt Hohne, Disney’s Animal Programs Animal Operations director. “By connecting people in a personal way with wildlife and nature — and talking with them about conservation and what they can do to help — we hope to inspire them to protect wildlife and wild places.”
The recent Animal Kingdom births follow recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which coordinates Population Management and Species Survival Plans for animal care facilities in North America. Through cooperative involvement with the AZA, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has successfully reproduced many endangered animals, including African elephants, black rhinos, okapi, gorillas and many rare birds.