Zebra Foal Named Phoenix Born at Disney's Animal Kingdom amid Park's Closure

Eric Todisco

Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge has a new zebra among its ranks.

Dr. Mark Penning, vice president of animals, science, and environment at Disney Parks, announced Monday that a new female Hartmann's mountain zebra foal was born at the park on May 6.

The new zebra, named Phoenix, recently made her first appearance at the resort's Sunset Savanna — a moment that was photographed and shared on Penning's Disney Parks blog and Instagram page.

Phoenix, whose name was chosen by the Animal Kingdom Lodge team "as a symbol of strength and renewal," has been active and bonding with her mom Peebles since her birth.

Dr. Mark Penning/Instagram Phoenix the zebra

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This is the second Hartmann’s foal born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge this year.

Phoenix was born as part of the Species Survival Plan program, overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The program ensures responsible breeding and genetic diversity for thousands of animal species. Walt Disney World has welcomed 13 zebra foals to their Animal Kingdom park since it started participating in the breeding program.

RELATED VIDEO: Disney World Announces Reopening Date After Months-Long Coronavirus Closure


Disney World Announces Reopening Date After Months-Long Coronavirus Closure


Disney World announced on Wednesday that it plans to open beginning July 11, months after first shutting its gates amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida has been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite cases surging in the state, the theme park, Animal Kingdom included, is planning to reopen on July 11.

Last week, a Disney World employee created a petition called "Protect Our Magic Makers," which proposes postponing the reopening.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition has more than 17,000 signatures. It urges Disney and government officials to delay the park's reopening amid the rise in cases, saying it isn't worth the risk for parkgoers and castmembers.

However, Fl. Gov. Ron DeSantis has said that he has no plans to block Disney World's reopening.

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