The “circle of life” was on full display at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Monday, as guests spotted a giraffe going into labor on the park’s Kilimanjaro Safaris ride.
Numerous guests posted videos on Twitter showing the mother, Mara, in various stages of active labor in full view of the safari vehicles — including when the calf’s legs could be already be seen. Once the newborn’s hoofs are showing, a giraffe birth can be over in as little as 30 minutes. Calves are able to quickly stand on their own and should be running alongside their mother within a day.
Disney welcomed the new calf on its Animals, Science and Environment Facebook page, saying Mara “gave birth to a Masai giraffe calf today around 2 p.m. on the Kilimanjaro Safari Savanna. Mom and calf are bonding well and we hope to share more details soon!”
Other details about the calf, including its gender, have not yet been confirmed. Since the birth occurred so close to the path taken by safari vehicles, Kilimanjaro Safaris was temporarily closed to guests.
The new, unnamed giraffe is the third calf born at Disney World in the past year. A female named Aella was born on June 29, 2018, and joined the herd about two months later. Another female calf was born in October, with Disney asking for suggestions for her name soon after.
When she started roaming the savanna in December, her name was revealed as Amira, which means “princess” in Swahili.