There’s a new attraction at Disney‘s Animal Kingdom, and he’s a local heart-breaker. Disney revealed the news about a baby Nile hippopotamus born at the park on January 13th, but he’s been a little camera shy until this week. He also didn’t have a name yet. As part of a magical moment on the theme park’s Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction, roughly a dozen Guests were the first to learn that the hippo calf is a boy, and his name is Augustus.
Weighing in at 168 pounds, Augustus is the first hippo born at the park in 13 years. He is often seen staying close to his mom, Tuma, and is already winning over Guests with his playful nature.
The birth of Augustus marks another success for the dedicated and highly trained team of animal care experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and it is an important contribution to the worldwide conservation and understanding of these amazing creatures. Nile hippos are a vulnerable species with a declining population. Augustus’ parents, Tuma and Henry, were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP ensures responsible breeding so there will be healthy and diverse animal populations for years to come.
Guests will see Augustus on Kilimanjaro Safaris and also during the Wild Africa Trek experience and be inspired to take action to protect hippos and other at-risk animals in the wild.
Augustus will most likely enjoy his time in the spotlight, by staying in his private pools and enjoying the perfect weather. As you can tell by the picture, he’s quite the baby still. Augustus is just about the size of his mother’s head at the moment, but it won’t be long until he’s a full-sized Hippo, eating more than in a day than he currently weighs. You can find more information on the animals in the park by visiting.