PHOTOS: Baby Elephant Debuts on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Savanna

The savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a new, 312-pound resident. Corra, a two-month-old African elephant, made her debut today. Her mother, Nadirah, was also born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom making Corra the first second-generation elephant in Animal Kingdom’s history.

Corra will be surrounded by a few familiar faces on the savanna, since she is joining a herd that includes her aunts Stella and Luna, as well as her grandmother, Donna. Corra’s dad, Mac, also lives here at the park.

Getting to today was two years in the making. It all started with the animal care team and the park's endocrinologists noticing Nadirah’s new behaviors and maturity, indicating she might be ready to become a mom. After some hopeful introductions and a successful courtship, a match was made with Mac, leading to the magic of a second-generation calf at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Throughout her pregnancy, Nadirah had regular ultrasounds to make sure mom and baby were healthy. The final ultrasound was planned just a few weeks before she gave birth, but unlike ultrasounds you may know from human pregnancies, veterinarians couldn’t see the entire calf because of Corra’s size and position. Still able to check in on the calf by feeling Nadirah’s belly, veterinarian Dr. Betsy could feel Corra move and even felt a little kick!

Nadirah voluntarily participated in her own care and keepers made sure she was comfortable every step of her pregnancy. That meant getting plenty of healthy and nutritious treats like her favorites, sweet potatoes, carrots, and hay during regular checkups and exams.

With the big day in sight, the animal care and endocrinology teams carefully monitored the final stages of Nadirah’s nearly 22-month pregnancy, measuring the calf’s size, weight and mom’s hormones daily. A drop in progesterone levels was a sure sign that Corra’s arrival was close.

From timing maturity levels and coordinating introductions of mom Nadirah and dad Mac, to observing mating behaviors, monitoring hormonal cycles and the big labor and delivery day – the science behind the birth of a baby animal at Disney is facilitated by an orchestra of unsung heroes who quietly work behind the scenes and go to incredible lengths to ensure the genetic diversity and healthy population of endangered species.

In fact, Disney's animal care team has welcomed a range of endangered and threatened species to Walt Disney World in collaboration with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan. These efforts have helped many species in their care including African elephants, Sumatran tigers, western lowland gorillas, adorable cotton-top tamarins and the elusive okapi to name just a few.

And there’s one more thing... two more baby elephants are expected to make their debut at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in 2025!

Seeing extraordinary moments like this is one of the many reasons Kilimanjaro Safaris is so special. Next time you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to take a safari ride and say hello to this dynamic dynasty.

Looking to plan and book an Orlando-area vacation? Contact Destinations with Character Travel Services, LLC., specialists in all things Orlando, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld! Destinations with Characters is a Disney EarMarked agency and the official travel agency of Orlando Theme Park News!

PHOTOS: © Walt Disney World Resort. All Rights Reserved.

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