Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

By: Greg Gately

Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom.

Of the more than 300 different species at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, there are eight now listed on the endangered species list. And today, we’re taking a special look at each of these beautiful and fascinating animals and sharing some unique ways you can help protect them in the future. 

1. Painted Dog 

A painted dog, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we have 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+. 

A painted dog, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Painted dogs are known for being hierarchical and our 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. 

A painted dog, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

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  

African elephants, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

For many of you, 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!

African elephants, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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 

A Western Lowland Gorilla, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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.

A Western Lowland Gorilla, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

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.

A Western Lowland Gorilla, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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  

A Komodo dragon, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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  

An okapi, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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.

An okapi, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

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 

A Giant Galapagos Tortoise, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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 our group of hauntingly slow giant Galapagos tortoises. 

A Giant Galapagos Tortoise, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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  

A Sumatran tiger, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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.

A Sumatran tiger, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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  

A Vietnam pheasant, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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.

A Vietnam pheasant, one of 8 endangered species at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Keep checking the Disney Parks Blog for more stories like this and updates on how our dedicated veterinarians, animal keepers and teams continue to deliver the best care to the animals in today’s story and to the 5,000 others across the resort. 

Related: Make-A-Wish at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Corra Meets Cora!

Disney Disney You Know: 8 Endangered Species You Can See at Animal Kingdom

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