Beyond the Roller Coasters: Spot Endangered Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Beyond the Roller Coasters: Spot Endangered Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom isn’t just about thrilling rides and adorable characters. It’s a place where you can encounter incredible animals facing challenges in the wild. Out of the park’s 300+ amazing species, eight are classified as endangered. Today, we’ll meet these fascinating creatures and explore ways you can be a hero for their future!

Related – Rare Baby Addax Makes Debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Endangered Animals

1. Painted Dog 

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are six painted dogs on the African savannas. Right now, you can spot “The Brothers” (Oswald and Hugo) on Kilimanjaro Safaris and even on “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” streaming on Disney+. Painted dogs are known for being hierarchical and this pack is no different, as Oswald leads the group. Meanwhile his brother Hugo, who is the most submissive of the group, is known for being a lover.

If you’d like to help protect the painted dogs population, you’re encouraged to visit local and national parks, AZA accredited zoos and aquariums and adopt an animal supported by a non-profit organization.


2. African Elephant 

For many guests, a favorite part of visiting Kilimanjaro Safaris is seeing the endangered African elephants. If you’ve been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently, you may have even gotten a special peek at five-month old Corra and mom Nadirah! Both Nadirah and Corra were born at Animal Kingdom, making Corra the first second-generation elephant in the Park’s history. Corra has a lot of familiar faces in her herd, as she is joined by her aunts and grandma Donna on the savanna. The adorable five-month-old loves exploring, splashing and discovering new ways to use her trunk.

You can help protect elephants by buying eco-friendly, wildlife-friendly and by joining a conservation group.


3. Western Lowland Gorilla

At Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, you can see two dynamic troops of endangered western lowland gorillas. An Animal Kingdom resident since opening day, 40-year-old Gino leads the troop. He is joined by nine-year-old half-brothers Corey and Flint. While they may be related and only three weeks apart, these two have unique personalities. Corey is a ball of energy, who loves making rain angels and practicing his sliding skills. And Flint is on the quieter side and loves to snack on green beans.

Gorillas rely heavily on forests for survival. Trees are often cut down to mine for minerals to make electronics. So by recycling electronics, you can help reduce the number of trees that get cut down and preserve the gorillas’ habitats.


4. Komodo Dragon

When you turn the first corner on Maharajah Jungle Trek at Animal Kingdom, you may catch the endangered Komodo dragon, Sheldon. The park’s keeper team is constantly giving Sheldon new enrichment and training challenges, since he figures them out so quickly.

Often misunderstood, Komodo dragons help the ecosystem by keeping their preys’ populations in check. So, make sure to share that with your friends to help out these large reptiles.


5. Okapi

If you’ve strolled down Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail or taken in the views of Pembe Savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you may have seen a rare cousin of the giraffe, the okapi. Here, you can spot some shy and elusive explorers, like Olivia, or Elijah and his mom Zelda. Olivia is a 10-year-old okapi born at Animal Kingdom Lodge. While sweet potatoes are one of her favorite things to eat, she is known for her sweet personality.

To help support the endangered okapi population, you can support a wildlife conservation organization and shop sustainable products that use recycled paper.


6. Giant Galapagos Tortoise

And the next time you walk around the iconic Tree of Life at the park, you may want to check out the “monsters” of Discovery Island. Dracula, Mummy, Frankenstein and Creature make up Disney’s group of hauntingly slow giant Galapagos tortoises. While they are all only 12 years old, making them too young to have their genders identified, they all have distinct personality traits. Dracula might prefer neck scratches and Creature loves food more than anything else. Frankenstein can be seen wiggling its bottom to make sure keepers get the right scratching spot and Mummy has the most attitude despite being the smallest.

You can help out tortoises by planting native plants in your garden. Native plants help keep out invasive plants, which are detrimental to animals like tortoises.


7. Sumatran Tiger 

The most powerful predator in the jungle, the endangered Sumatran tiger, roams the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Animal Kingdom. Sohni the Sumatran tiger is a strong-willed, independent female. She loves to play by dragging around big barrels. And Conrad, a male, loves his enrichment activities in the pool and never misses his mid-day cat naps.

Like other species featured here, tigers live in the forest so you can help by making sure to recycle and print double-sides to help protect their habitats.


8. Vietnam Pheasant 

On Maharajah Jungle Trek at Animal Kingdom, you can find a group of stylish Vietnam pheasants. These colorful endangered birds have bright red skin around their eyes that pop like the sunset.

This beautiful species can help keep small animal populations in check, so limit or reduce the use of pesticides to protect plants and animals like these ones.

Dreaming of an unforgettable adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Contact me today and let me sprinkle some pixie dust on your trip planning! I’ll navigate the park’s offerings, find the perfect times to see your favorite endangered animals, and ensure you have a magical (and stress-free) day exploring the wonders of nature. Just tell me your animal-loving crew’s interests, and I’ll craft a customized itinerary that roars with excitement!

Beyond the Roller Coasters: Spot Endangered Animals at Disney's Animal Kingdom 1

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