Disney’s Animal Kingdom now has a brand-new member of the family! Stella, a female elephant calf, was born recently and is continuing to bond with her mom and meet some of the other members of the elephant herd on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna. The mother of Stella is 28-year-old Donna, who gave birth to the park’s seventh elephant. Donna became pregnant through natural breeding in Jan. 2015 and received extensive pre-natal care throughout her pregnancy.
In addition to regular ultrasounds, veterinarians, scientists, and elephant managers continued to monitor Donna’s hormone levels on a daily basis to help them determine when she would give birth.
Donna and her baby spent a short time backstage where Stella began nursing, bonding with mom and getting to know some of the other elephants in her family. This is the third calf for Donna, who has given birth to two other female calves, Nadirah in 2005, and Luna in 2010. Stella raises the number of elephants in the Disney’s Animal Kingdom herd to 10, including three males and six females.
Animal Kingdom's elephant program makes an important contribution to the worldwide conservation and understanding of these amazing creatures. The park's scientists study the behavior and vocalizations of our elephants, and have learned a lot about how they communicate with each other. This knowledge has been used to work with Save the Elephants on the Elephants and Bees project to fund the development and installation of beehive fences around farms in Kenya, which not only protect the farmers and their crops from elephants, but also help protect the elephants from the farmers. Elephants instinctively avoid African honey bees, keeping them safe from human conflict.
Guests can visit DisneyAnimals.com for more information about elephants and other animal species.
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