Disney's Animal Kingdom Welcomes Two Adorable New Additions: a Baby Gorilla and Baby Hippo (PHOTOS)
Both animals are healthy and under the care of Animal Kingdom staff
Talk about double the cuteness.
This week, staff at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, announced the arrival of two new additions: a Nile hippopotamus calf born on July 12 and a western lowland gorilla following on July 13.
Both newborns are healthy and under the supervision of Disney's animal care team, according to a representative for the park.
A blog post by veterinarian Scott Terrell, Director of Animal & Science Operations at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts reports that gorilla mom Azizi welcomed her infant backstage, and soon after, introduced the baby to the family troop. She and the newborn's father, Gino, also have a male named Cory, born in 2014.
Tuma is the proud new mama of the hippopotamus calf, born in the Safi River on Kilimanjaro Safaris. That little one joins nine family members, including dad Henry, and is "nuzzling with mom and moving through the water like a pro," Terrell reports.
According to Terrell, both sets of new parents were paired through the Species Survival Plan, "a program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums," he writes. "The plan ensures responsible breeding of vulnerable or critically endangered species — including Nile hippopotamuses and western lowland gorillas — to help create healthy, genetically diverse populations for years to come."
While both babies are busy nursing and bonding with their mothers, Terrell says, they are available to see in their habitats, as well. In the coming weeks, Animal Kingdom staff will share more information on the little ones, including their sexes and weights.