Prepare to say, “Awwwww.”
This is Nafuna, a brand new baby okapi calf born late last week at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Both mom (Zawadi) and baby – 35 pounds at birth – are doing fine.
Rumors persist that the father, Akili, who lives at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (on the savanna, not concierge level,) was seen smoking a cigar following the complicated delivery.
Complicated, you say?
The okapi was delivered feet-first – thus the name “Nafuna,” African for “delivered feet first.”
According to the Disney Parks Blog, guests will have two opportunities to catch a glimpse of the okapi calf a couple of months from now, when she goes out in the park’s Ituri Forest. Guests can see okapi when they ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition and when they travel the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
In the wild, the okapi is considered rare, and they are threatened by habitat loss due to logging and human settlement, as well as by hunting. So, bad humans! Bad!
Also from the Parks Blog:
Okapi fun facts
- The okapi’s stripes work as camouflage when hiding in the partial sunlight that filters through the forest canopy.
- Okapi are typically solitary animals, living alone or in mother-offspring pairs. They are extremely wary and secretive, making okapi very difficult to observe in the lowland rainforest of central Africa where they make their home.
- The okapi’s gestation period is about 14 months.
- Adult okapi can reach weights of 550-720 pounds, with females typically being larger than males. They can live over 30 years in zoological facilities.
- Normally silent, female okapi vocalize with a soft “chuff” during courtship and when calling to their calves. There are infrasonic qualities to their call, which are below the frequency that the human ear can pick up.