PHOTOS: Beni the Okapi Makes First Appearance on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna

In January 2023, a rare, endangered Okapi calf made his debut on the Pembe Savanna at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since his birth in July, Beni has grown to a height of four feet and weighs around 230 pounds.

The resort's dedicated team of animal care experts watched with delight as Beni cautiously but curiously explored the new sights and smells of the savanna with his mom Olivia closely nudging him on from behind. While he still stays pretty close to mom, he is slowly becoming more independent and his endearing personality is starting to show as he matures.

Beni is the first calf of mom Olivia and dad Elombe, and his birth was part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan which ensures the responsible breeding of threatened and endangered species in managed care. Programs like these make it possible for people to experience this majestic species first-hand at accredited institutions across the country.

Disney has a long history of supporting conservation organizations dedicated to protecting okapis and the forests they call home. Funds from the Disney Conservation Fund have helped monitor wild okapi populations, reduce deforestation, and support the well-being of local communities who share the forest with this iconic species.

Okapis are endangered in their home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and they are very good at camouflaging themselves into the rainforest, so getting to see them roam the savanna at Walt Disney World Resort is incredibly special. Next time you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, be sure to stop by Kidani Village and say hello to Beni and Olivia!
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PHOTOS: © Walt Disney World Resort. All Rights Reserved.

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