Disney’s Animal Kingdom just welcomed a new inhabitant with the birth of a baby giraffe at Kilimanjaro Safaris. The new addition is a two-month-old Masai giraffe calf named Aella and it’s not hard to see why she has already amassed adoring fans.

Born in June, Aella spent her early days nursing and bonding with her mom Lily in the behind-the-scenes habitat. The tiniest member of the herd has now made her official debut on the savannah where safari guests can spot her close by her mom, who will continue to nurse her for about a year.

The Masai giraffe are a vulnerable species with around 32,000 living in the wild mainly in Kenya and Tanzania. Lily and Aella’s dad George were paired to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help threatened and endangered species.

Aella was named after an Amazon warrior and she’s already showing signs of living up to her spirited name by exploring on her own and venturing away from her mom—well, at least a few paces away.

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—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: David Roark for Disney Parks

 

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