It’s baby news times two! Even though Walt Disney World is currently closed, the animal care team continues to work hard to care for the animals. And this week we received double the great news! In this difficult time, this is sure to put a smile on your face!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcomed two new additions to their family – a baby porcupine and a baby zebra!
The baby porcupine, also known as a porcupette, was born to mom, Peri, on February 25th. And the baby zebra was born early Saturday morning on March 21st to first-time-mom, Heidi. And we are pleased to announce they are both GIRLS!
Both animals were born through the Species Survival Plan (SSP). This program is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and ensures responsible breeding and genetic diversity of thousands of species of animals.
The zebra, who has yet to be named, is about 65pounds, and is quite strong – she was standing within 30 minutes of birth and is very active! She is said to be bonding very well with her mom. Bonding is especially important, as a young zebra will imprint on its mother’s scent and memorize the unique markings on its mother’s hind legs to tell her apart from the rest of the herd. And in just a few weeks she will make her debut on the Kilimanjaro Safari savannah.
Here’s a closer look!
The Porcupette was born to mom Peri back on February 25th. If you may recall, Peri was featured on the One Day at Disney documentary on Disney Plus. She was seen given an ultrasound by the Disney veterinarian. If you have’t seen the documentary, definitely check it out!
Here’s a closer look.
When a porcupette is born, it is covered in a fine red fur coat, but they’re also born with their tiny quills underneath, which begin to harden hours after birth. Those quills are actually what helped the team determine the baby’s gender. Since prehensile-tailed porcupines have internal sex organs, to determine the baby’s gender, the team actually had to send some of her tiny quills off to a lab for DNA testing. And of course, it was determined it was a girl!
Mom and baby are doing very well. You can find them at at Conservation Station in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The team could not be more thrilled with these two births and to be able to bring you such happy news!