Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Elephant Calf
On Wednesday Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team introduced Stella, a female elephant calf born recently.
Stella and her mother, 28-year-old Donna, are now exploring the savanna at Kilimanjaro Safaris. Stella is the seventh elephant born at the park.
Since birth Donna and her baby had spent a short time backstage so Stella could nurse and bond with mom and slowly get to know some of the other elephants in the Disney family. Donna has now given birth to three calves, including two other female calves, Nadirah in 2005 and Luna in 2010.
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Disney’s Animal Kingdom now has 10 elephants, three males and six females.
In January 2015 Donna became pregnant through natural breeding and received extensive pre-natal care throughout her pregnancy at the park.
“In addition to regular ultrasounds, veterinarians, scientists and elephant managers monitored Donna’s hormone levels on a daily basis to help them determine when she would give birth,” said Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, in his statement released on Disney’s blog.
The elephant program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom makes an important contribution to the conservation and understanding of these magnificent species. The scientists in the program study the behavior and vocalizations of the elephants at Disney. They have learned a lot about how they communicate with each other.
“We have used this knowledge to work with Save the Elephants on the Elephants and Beesproject 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,” said Penning in his statement.
For more information about elephants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and what they’re doing to help Reverse the Decline of elephants in the wild visit the links included.