SO, do you want to know the MOST exciting part about being back at safaris?
That’s right, Kilimanjaro Safaris is now a veritable nursery. You might as well start calling it “Baby Animal Safari”. There are baby animals EVERYWHERE.
I’ll start with the most recent additions to the family: three male warthogs. When I started at safaris, fellow drivers mentioned that they had been trying to get some baby warthogs, and that’s why there were always a male and female out, and it looks like it finally worked. Just two weeks ago, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore were brought on show for limited periods of time. My very last day, I finally got to see them, and I freaked.
They are so cute. Definitely not only a face a mother could love. At least when they’re tiny and furry.
And the most exciting part of my temporary return was getting to see Luna! She’s the newest baby elephant born to the herd, and she was born/released on show RIGHT after I left. SHE’S SO ADORABLE.
For those who don’t know, Animal Kingdom is home to the largest working captive herd of elephants in the world. With currently 5 males and 8 females, and 5 calves born in captivity, they are teaching us more and more about how these animals live and think.
Luna was born at 288 pounds, fairly average for elephants. Most babies are born around 300 pounds, and the mothers go through a 22 month pregnancy. But: completely worth it. (At this point in my safaris, it turns into unintelligible baby talk as I coo over baby elephants.) Being able to see Luna and the rest of the babies grow up around me is so incredibly rewarding. It’s almost like I have my own kids. I now take pictures of them while I’m riding a safari just so I can look back on how tiny they used to be.
I’ll finish up with a photo I took of Luna when I was down there. She’s about 2 months old in this picture, and though it’s not the best of her, it’s the most representative of her personality. She is ALWAYS playing around, just like a little kid, just getting the hang of how to use that funny thing on her face to grab stuff. One safari, I drove by and got to watch her carry a stick in her mouth, then take it out, wave it around, and continue marching around. She is totally adorable. (That’s her, using her trunk as a snorkel in the water.)