Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge recently became home to a rare and endangered baby okapi, the lodge’s fifth and the park’s 12th overall.
Beni, is the twelfth okapi born at Walt Disney World Resort and the fifth at the lodge. The first calf to be born at Walt Disney World Resort since 2018, he currently weighs just under 100 pounds and stands little over three feet tall from hoof to shoulder.
The okapi, also known as the forest giraffe, Congolese giraffe, or zebra giraffe, hails from the Congo in central Africa. Although the okapi has striped markings similar to zebras, the okapi is most closely related to the giraffe.
The okapi stands a little under 5 feet tall at the shoulder and has a typical body length around 8 feet. Its weight ranges from between 440 to 770 lbs with a long neck, and large, flexible ears. Its coat is a chocolate to reddish brown, much in contrast with the white horizontal stripes and rings on the legs, and white ankles.
Disney’s animal care team is monitoring Beni, making sure he hits all the milestones of a growing okapi. In the coming months, he’ll make his debut on the Pembe Savanna, and guests staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Beni.