Source/Photos: Disney Parks Blog
If you have ever experienced the wonder of Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom we are sure you encountered some amazing giraffes along the way. Disney’s Animal Kingdom announced that their newest giraffe, Aella (pronounced “eye-la”), the two-month old Masai giraffe can now be seen on the safari.
Aella was born on June 29, 2018 and weighed in at a little over 5 pounds. The calf has been nursing backstage with her mother Lily for the past few months. Over the course of the next year she will nurse onstage with her mother and once that is complete she will roam the savanna on her own in search of vegetation. Once she is full grown she will then consume up to 75 pounds of food a day. (and you thought you ate a lot on your Walt Disney World vacations!)
Named after an Amazon warrior, Aella is known to be a brave and bold young giraffe with a curious and independent spirit. She’s adventurous enough to explore on her own, sometimes leaving mom a few paces behind.
Aella’s birth marks a first for her parents – mom Lily and dad George. The pair was chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and ensures responsible breeding of threatened and endangered species. Breeding this pair is important to the long-term survival of the species because it adds more genetic diversity to the giraffe population, which helps ensure future generations.
The Masai giraffe is a vulnerable species found primarily in Kenya and Tanzania. There are believed to be roughly 32,000 Masai giraffes left in the wild, and their population continues to decline because of poaching and habitat loss. Disney Parks Blog
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