A baby giraffe was born at Disney Park’s Animal Kingdom just as the new docu-series made its way onto Disney+.
The baby is called Masai and weighs just 156 pounds, but she’s already more than 6ft tall.
Masai and her mum Mara are staying backstage at the park until Masai is a little bigger, but she’ll join the herd on the savanna in a few weeks, according to Disney Parks.
You can meet her below.
The new addition joins the 5,000 animals at the Animal Kingdom – and she had perfect timing too as the new docu-series The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom arrived on Disney+ in the same week.
Masai was born on Tuesday and already has a close bond with her mum.
The little giraffe was born through the Animal Kingdom’s Survival Plan, which aims to safely breed endangered species. Masa and dad George were part of the scheme.
Masai’s grandma, Kenya, is seen in the first episode of the National Geographic show on Disney+ which gives fans a look behind-the-scenes at the park and what works gets carried out there.
RadioTimes.com spoke to Dr Mark Penning, Vice President, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks, ahead of the series’ launch about why the team had chosen to allow the cameras behind-the-scenes saying all the content is “accurate, reflects the animal and is responsible”.
The series shows Kenya having medical treatment, a gorilla birthday party complete with cake as well as all the work that needs to be done, including by Disney’s Imagineers as they create and design the Animal Kingdom “to craft the stories for the guests that are so real”.
Dr Mark also mentioned the conservation work that we get to see, and how much further that goes raising $100m to save wildlife and to inspire communities to take action as we try and protect our planet.
“I think that the key piece of conservation and what people miss is it’s all about people,” he said. “It’s communities learning to live with wildlife around them and being comfortable with them. Not just understanding what the dangers and risks are but being sensible about it and safeguarding their livestock and children.”
In the series, you get to see a baby gorilla called Grace, named after the gorilla orphanage named GRACE, (gorilla, rehabilitation and conservation education centre) by the Disney team “in the deepest darkest recesses of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
The centre houses young gorillas, orphaned because of poaching – and were earmarked to be pets in homes. Disney’s team built the facility, trained the community and ultimately aim to release them into the wild.
Dr Mark said: “I really hope what people take out of it is seeing the extraordinary relationships between carers and the animals. It’s done in such a way that you’re not going to see someone hugging a lion or tiger, because that’s just irresponsible. This has been really responsible, having such a strong relationship like a tiger that you can work safely with it without having full contact.”
He added: “We can even ask a tiger for a blood sample and it backs into a corner and puts its tail through a sheet and we get a blood sample, and the tiger knows it’s going to get a treat afterwards…it’s that relationship that we need to make sure our animals are thriving. And that’s what we want folks to see in the series.”
The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is available on Disney+ now.