Animal Kingdom celebrates its 25th anniversary this Saturday, April 22, AKA Earth Day! But did you know some animals will also celebrate their 25-year residency at the Park? There are 45 of them that have been there since the Park opened in 1998!
Watch this video to get the rundown on some of Animal Kingdom’s longest residents.
1] Jack and Jill – Miniature donkeys
Lori, an Animal Manager at the Park, shared:
Jack and Jill are our a miniature donkeys, and they’re found up at Rafiki‘s Planet Watch in the affection section yard. They are very different. They’re a very bonded pair. They’re not siblings. Jill is the more brave of the two. She’s more secure and confident, and Jack is a little bit more hesitant and he takes his confidence from Jill. And they’re fun to watch. They play a lot.
2) Mac – African elephant
Buck, an Animal Operations Manager, said:
Maclean is one of our original elephants, and you can find him on the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Maclean’s nickname is Mac, of course, and sometimes we call him Big Mac because he is our biggest elephant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I think it’s fair to say that Mac has a fan club. Guests have been coming for over 25 years to see him, and he’s easily recognizable.
3) Gino – Western lowland gorilla
Another Animal Operation Manager Rebecca says:
Gino is a western lowland gorilla that lives on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. He is the dad of our family gorilla group. Gino is able to connect our Guests to gorillas and conservation and helps tell the story to people who may not be able to visit gorillas in Africa. Many of our Guests have been coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to see Gino and the gorillas every year. We’ve gotten to meet several of our Guests that make their vacation plans around visiting Gino and watching his family grow. Gino has such a big personality, and he’s very easy for our Guests to connect to.
4) Sid – Rhinoceros iguana
Animal Manager Lori explains:
Sid is a rhinoceros iguana, and he’s found in the Oasis area. So when Guests come into the Park, they’re going to take a right on the path. And when they pass our muntjac, which is a small deer from Asia, Sid will be on the left. Sid is in his mid-40s, which is pretty amazing when you think about their general lifespan. His habitat has a heated rock, because he’s a reptile, and in order for them to regulate their temperature, it’s based on the environment. So the heated rock that he loves to lay on, gives him the warmth that he needs.
5) Tuma – Nile hippopotamus
Animal Operations Manager Buck continues:
Tuma is one of our original Nile river hippos. And you can find her on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail or Kilimanjaro Safaris. She is a great mother, very protective, and always watching out for her children. Tuma loves being in the water. Even when she was a baby, she would climb into her water trough and just stick her head and toes out. In fact, we actually call her Tuma Toes partially because she’s got some bright pink spots right between her toes.
6) Johnny – White stork
Lori then introduces Johnny:
Johnny is a white stork, and he’s found in the habitat in front of the Tree of Life. Interestingly, many Guests have him in their photos without them even knowing about it. Every time they take a picture of the Tree of Life, Johnny might be in it.
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The video concludes, “It is such a wonderful story and a reflection upon the care that they get, especially for these legacy and heritage animals that have been here since the beginning.”
Happy 25 years Animal Kingdom! And happy 25 years to Gino, Tuma, Johnny, Mac, Jack & Jill, and Sid too!