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Meet Beni The Cutest Baby Okapi Born At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

BOO! Isn’t this the cutest “ghost of the forest” you’ve ever seen?

Walt Disney World have introduced Beni, the newest okapi at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Named by the keeper team, Beni was born in July to mom Olivia, and the pair remain in their backstage habitat where they spend time nuzzling, nursing and bonding.

Meet Beni The Baby Okapi Born At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Beni is the twelfth okapi born at Walt Disney World Resort and the fifth at the lodge.

It’s especially exciting news as World Okapi Day is right around the corner on October 18, a day that recognizes the significance of this endangered and enigmatic species

The first calf to be born at Walt Disney World Resort since 2018, he currently weighs just under 100 pounds and stands little over three feet tall from hoof to shoulder.

He could eventually grow to between five and six feet tall and up to 650 pounds!

Disney's animal care team is monitoring Beni and making sure he hits all the milestones of a growing okapi. In the coming months, he’ll make his debut on the Pembe Savanna – you may even catch a glimpse of him if you’re staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Beni is named in honor of a town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the only country where endangered okapis are found.

These elusive animals live in rainforests, and black-and-white stripes on their hindquarters and front legs help camouflage them among the trees. Though they look similar to zebras, they’re actually closely related to giraffes.

Beni’s birth was recommended through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan, which ensures responsible breeding of threatened species in managed care. In addition to working with the AZA, Disney has provided long-term support to okapis in the DRC through the Okapi Conservation Project which works to protect wildlife, support communities and provide conservation education opportunities on the importance of protecting the forest for people and okapi.

Meet Beni The Cutest Baby Okapi Born At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

In 2020, the Disney Conservation Fund also recognized the Okapi Conservation Project agroforestry team with the Disney Conservation Hero award. This annual award recognizes passionate individuals and teams who are working to save wildlife and engage their communities in conservation solutions.

As Walt Disney World acknowledge World Okapi Day on Oct. 18, we celebrate the joyful arrival of Beni and the collective efforts to protect this stunning and vulnerable species.

Meet Beni The Baby Okapi Born At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge


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