Baby opaki born at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Walt Disney World says a baby okapi was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge this summer. The newborn, which arrived July 17, has been named Beni.

The calf, offspring of first-time mom Olivia, is the first okapi born at Disney World since 2018. His dad is named Elombe. Twelve okapi have been born there, and Beni is the fifth one to come into the world at the lodge.

Beni is named after a town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the only country where endangered okapis are found, Disney says. The birth announcement comes ahead of World Okapi Day, which is Tuesday.

Beni and Olivia are in a habitat backstage currently. He will debut on the Pembe Savanna at the lodge in the coming months, Disney says.

Beni currently weighs almost 100 pounds and is little over 3 feet tall from hoof to shoulder. He may grow to between 5 and 6 feet tall and up to 650 pounds.

There are an estimated 20,000 okapi worldwide, and their population is in decline because of poaching and habitat loss. The Disney birth was recommended through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.

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