Walt Disney World ® Resort
New Residents at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – and Beyond – Embody the Magic of Nature at Walt Disney World Resort
New arrivals celebrate the resort’s commitment to conservation and species around the world
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2023) – It’s been a busy year at Walt Disney World Resort, as The Most Magical Place on Earth has welcomed the birth of more than 300 animal residents. The range of births is tremendously diverse, from aquatic animals like cuttlefish and an eagle ray pup at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT, to terrestrial mammals, including an aardvark and red river hog piglet, to more than 150 birds. The additions help keep these animal populations healthy and ensure their survival.
Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment cast members and animal care experts continue to bring people and nature together through joyful experiences every day as they celebrate the births of these endangered animals through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, and foster the animals’ successful on-stage debuts.
Here are just a few of the new additions guests might see when they visit Walt Disney World.
Zebra foals join Kilimanjaro Safaris
Two Hartmann’s mountain zebra foals recently debuted at Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Born just six days apart, Cricket and Dot can be seen prancing around the savanna with their parents. Guests who look closely might notice that each foal has unique stripe patterns but may also distinguish the newcomers by preference and personality: Cricket loves the water and can often be seen splashing in puddles, while Dot frolics among the prairie grass, exhibiting her energy with “zoomies” as she quickly gallops around the savanna.
Cotton-top tamarin twins on Discovery Island
An adorable set of cotton-top tamarin twins were born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in June, and they have been a favorite of park guests since they were one-day old. These tiny twins are currently just bigger than the palm of a hand and beginning to explore their Discovery Island habitat without the help of their mom and dad. This playful pair love chasing each other through the trees and are amazingly acrobatic.
Yellow-backed duiker makes debut at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
As mothers across the U.S. spent the summer readying their children for school, some for the first time, a yellow-backed duiker mom named Pearl was preparing her daughter for a big milestone at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. After bonding for a few months with her mom backstage, yellow-backed duiker baby Penny, born in the spring, recently made her on-stage debut. Yellow-backed duikers are an extremely shy and reclusive forest-dwelling antelope, but Penny and Pearl may be seen by guests who look closely as they visit Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail presented by Off! Repellants.
Cinderella pony at Tri-Circle-D Ranch
Elsewhere at Walt Disney World, another baby animal made her grand entrance into the world. Pixie the Shetland pony foal was born in July at Tri-Circle-D Ranch at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. While she is the third Shetland pony born at the ranch this year, joining pals Sprout and Finn, Pixie is the first Cinderella pony, owing to her white coat. The new foal has already taken her first steps in training to one day join the Cinderella carriage team with her mom Lady and sister Lilly.
Learn more about animal care at Walt Disney World Resort
For more information on how Disney cares for animals and helps protect species in the wild, visit DisneyAnimals.com. And seasons one and two of “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” streaming on Disney+, give viewers unprecedented access to some of the most rare and beautiful species on the planet and a chance to meet animal care cast members who have formed remarkable bonds with the parks’ thousands of animals.