ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35, Orlando) – Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating the births of a female baby giraffe named Makena and a male baby zebra named Kidani.
Kidani, born March 8, is the first Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra born at the Walt Disney World Resort. He was named for the new expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, which will be named Kidani Village.
Makena, which means “Happy One” in Swahili, was on Leap Day, February 29. and weighed in at 118 pounds, standing 5 feet, 6 inches tall. Makena is the first calf for her mother, 4-year-old Malaika, who was also born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Both moms and babies are doing well and are expected to rejoin their herds on the savannah at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the coming weeks.
The typical gestation period for a giraffe is approximately 15 months.
An adult giraffe’s neck alone can measure up to seven-feet, and their tongues can be as long as 18 inches.
Giraffes also have their own set of unique skin markings, similar to a human fingerprint.
The typical gestation period for a zebra is approximately 12 months.
Similar to the giraffe, each zebra has a unique coat pattern that herd members use to identify one another. One of the identifying characteristics of the mountain zebra is that their stripes do not meet under the belly, which is white with a central black stripe.
Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are also prone to frequent dust baths once or twice daily and are sure footed on rocky or rugged surfaces.
Disney Animal Kingdom’s breeding program
Giraffes and zebras at the Walt Disney World Resort are bred through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Population Management Plan, which is a consortium of zoos and wildlife parks working together to conserve and breed animals.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are accredited by the AZA. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation.