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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Adorable New Addition

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort’s newest theme park, Animal Kingdom, is a wholly unique Disney Park.

The Disney Park is known for its themes of the preservation, conservation, and appreciation of the natural world and for its residents: the animals, themselves.

animal kingdom entrance

Credit: Disney

READ MORE: Animal Kingdom Isn’t a Half-Day Park, Guests Are Just Missing Out on Half of the Attractions

For one, it’s the biggest theme park in the entire world at nearly 600 acres. For another, it’s home to over a thousand animals (approximately 250 different species, in case you were wondering).

In fact, Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom hosts the largest groups of African elephants and Nile hippos in all of North America!

animal kingdom hippo

Credit: Disney

READ MORE: Video Shows Once-In-A-Lifetime Animal Encounter on Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris Attraction

With so many animals, Disney scientists and veterinarians are kept busy. Over 600 wellness checks are performed on the animals each year, and as the number of animals grows, so do the wellness checks!

Recently, Animal Kingdom was able to welcome a brand new, adorable addition: a yellow-backed duiker calf. This little calf has been named Penny, and was born to Pearl.

Credit: Dr. Mark Penning, Disney

READ MORE: Disney Imagineer Shares Shocking Ideas For Animal Kingdom Re-Design

Penny was first introduced yesterday on Instagram, by Dr. Mark Penning himself (Vice President: Disney’s Animals, Science & Environment), but she was born earlier this May.

This birth isn’t just exciting, it’s ground-breaking. This yellow-backed duiker calf is the first to be born at the theme park in over 20 years! Talk about a milestone!

animal-kingdom-gorilla

Credit: Disney

READ MORE: Animal Kingdom’s Science, Environment, and Health Team Is Led Nearly Entirely By Women

Disney is currently working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, finding out the best way to introduce the yellow-backed duiker to Guests. Until then, Penny and Pearl will remain backstage.

Later in the year, the two will appear in Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.