Recently, we asked for your help in naming our newest Masai giraffe calf at Disney’s Animal Kingdom … and today, I’m thrilled to share she now has a name and just officially joined the herd.
Please welcome Amira, which means “princess” in Swahili. We are delighted with her name and thank you sincerely for playing a role in this important moment in her life. Amira appears to be an adventurous young calf, and we’re excited to see her explore the savanna.
Born on Oct. 1, Amira is already standing at more than five-feet tall. Since her birth, Amira has been bonding and nursing with mom Kenya in a backstage habitat.
Amira’s parents, Kenya and George, were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and ensures responsible breeding of threatened and endangered species.
Amira just officially took her first steps on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna and has been exploring and staying close to her mom.
Amira is following in the hoofsteps of Aella, a five-month-old female giraffe calf who was also recently born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and made her debut on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna in late August.
Found primarily in Kenya and Tanzania, Masai giraffe are currently listed as a “vulnerable” species but may soon be moved to endangered status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. There is grave concern for the future of these beautiful creatures in the wild as they face threats of poaching and habitat loss. It is estimated about 32,000 Masai giraffes are left in the wild, and their population continues to decline at alarming rates.
Disney is actively involved in efforts to save Masai giraffes by lending our support to conservation efforts through the Disney Conservation Fund and sending our animal care team to lend their expertise in the field. Earlier this year, several Disney animal care experts went to Uganda to help relocate a herd of giraffes across the Nile River to establish a newer, safer habitat away from oil-drilling fields. Another team went to Kenya to support a giraffe and zebra population census.
Visit DisneyAnimals.com to learn more about giraffes and other animals at the Walt Disney World Resort.
This post originally appeared on Disney Parks Blog.
Author: Scott Terrell