Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to the Tree of Life and many animals that live in the surrounding area. Guests can also get a lot of shopping done in this area and find delicious snacks, but that’s all for a different article. Today we are focusing on the animals that can be found in this section of the park.
Kangaroos & More
Over on the left side of the Tree of Life, just behind where guests can watch Winged Encounters, there’s a spot where you can find Red Kangaroos. These strong marsupials are hard to find at times, so if you follow the trail around the Tree of Life, you might be able to catch them at the back of their habitat. Here you’ll also be able to find Lesser Flamingos and possibly a Lappet-faced Vulture.
I love otters. They are one of my favorite animals; I could watch them all day. Back in the day, I worked in a theme park with otters, and I used to stop to see them whenever I had a bad day. Now I come to the Otter Grotto, which is only a few steps away from the Flamingo area when I need my otter fix. The grotto has several viewing areas, allowing plenty of opportunities to see them. It can get busy here at times, so pack your patience.
Catfish, Lemurs & Tamarins
There is a walking path called Discovery Island Trails, where guests can venture on tranquil pathways and see the Tree of Life from a different angle. This trail has a handful of animal habitats, so let’s see a few of them.
You might hear some kids scream shark but don’t worry, there are no sharks here, just a huge Paroon Shark Catfish that resembles a shark hence the name. These fish live in freshwater and patrol murky bottoms of rivers and lakes. The size of this fish can be shocking, but watching it swim around is pretty impressive.
Toward the back of the trail, near the entrance of Africa, is where guests can find the Cotton-top Tamarins. These are cute South American monkeys that have a pretty cool hairdo. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture decent photos of this area.
At the end of the trail, which is near the entrance of It’s Tough to be a Bug, you’ll be able to find Lemurs. Sadly, they weren’t out while I was approaching this area, but the Disney ducks were! When in doubt, be on the lookout for a Disney duck because you might even get to see some babies.
One of the main reasons why I love Disney’s Animal Kingdom is because of experiences like this. Several trails throughout the park allow guests to see animals up close and learn about them. Isn’t that amazing? These pathways are also a great way to get away from crowds or entertain the younger travelers who can’t ride many attractions. Personally, I could spend hours just wandering through all the treks here at Animal Kingdom; it just brings me a sense of peace.
Each trip, I make time to visit the wildlife here at Animal Kingdom. Do you add these trails to your itinerary, or do you focus on the attractions and live entertainment when visiting this park? Tell us in the comments!
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.