Baby Okapi Named Beni Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Hi everyone!

World Okapi Day is October 18th, 2022 and Disney just announced the birth of an endangered okapi calf named Beni. The calf was actually born back in July to first-time mom Olivia at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Walt Disney World Resort. Mom and Beni are still backstage where they are bonding in private. Beni will make his debut on the Pembe Savannah in the upcoming months.

Here is video from Disney, followed by photos.

Beni is the twelfth okapi born at Walt Disney World Resort and the fifth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. He is the first calf born at Walt Disney World since 2018. He weighs just under 100 pounds and stands a little over three feet tall!

(David Roark, photographer)

Disney says that he could eventually grown to between five and six feet tall and weigh up to 650 pounds.

 (David Roark, photographer)

Beni is named in honor of a town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the only country where endangered okapis can be found.

(David Roark, photographer)

Disney says,

In 2020, the Disney Conservation Fund also recognized the Okapi Conservation Project agroforestry team with the Disney Conservation Hero award. This annual award recognizes passionate individuals and teams who are working to save wildlife and engage their communities in conservation solutions. As we acknowledge World Okapi Day on Oct. 18, we celebrate the joyful arrival of Beni and the collective efforts to protect this stunning and vulnerable species.

(David Roark, photographer)

One thing we’ve learned on the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction is that the okapi is related to a giraffe, not a zebra.

 (David Roark, photographer)

Beni is really cute and we look forward to seeing him in the coming months at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!