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Baby Okapi Named Beni, Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Baby Okapi Named Beni, Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Okapi Header

Animal Kingdom fans will be pleased to know that the newest member of the animal family is a baby Okapi, born to Mom Olivia back in July. The little one has been named Beni, and this week Disney has finally introduced him to fans just in time for World Okapi Day on October 18th – yep, that’s a thing!

Beni is the first calf to be born since 2018 and the twelfth overall at the Walt Disney World Resort. Eventually, he will grow to be up to 6ft tall and around 650lbs, but for the moment, Beni sits at roughly 100lbs and 3ft in height.

Baby Okapi Named Beni, Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Okapi

Disney released the following information for guests that are interested in the background of these incredible creatures:

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.  

Early on, okapi calves “tuck” themselves into nests where they hide from predators. Shy and reclusive okapis are nearly impossible to spot in the rainforest and have earned the nickname “ghosts of the forests.” In fact, okapis were thought to be a myth until 1901 when they were first “discovered” by western scientists. This endangered species is a national symbol of the DRC, and they are cherished and revered by the people who live there. 

There are an estimated 20,000 okapi in the world, and their population continues to decline due to poaching and habitat loss.  

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Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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