Disney’s Welcomes Baby Monkey to the Animal Kingdom Family

Mandrill Monkey and baby Saffron
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Disney World is welcoming another fur baby to the family! Like the famous film The Lion King (1994), “It’s the circle of life.” Disney World is home to many animals, thanks to Disney’s innate interest in protecting various species. Disney’s wildlife comes from all over, including Asia and Africa, with conservation, veterinarian care, and research at the heart of the projects.

This week, Disney is celebrating the birth of a baby mandrill at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The precious baby monkey has already joined her family at Kilimanjaro Safaris.

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Saffron The Baby Mandrill

Saffron is happily home with her family and getting custom to the land. According to Dr. Mark, “From the day she was born, she’s been inseparable from her mom Hazel.” In the mandrill social structure, the maternal figure acts as both the mother and father taking on paternal responsibilities. In doing so, Saffron can be found wrapped up in her mother Hazel’s arms.

So small, Saffron was born weighing less than three pounds and could fit in the palm of your hand. “Despite this newborn’s current size, mandrills are the largest species of monkeys in the world, and she could grow up to 25 pounds in a few years,” Disney Parks Blog reports.

Mandrill Monkey and baby Saffron

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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Born on July 24, Saffron has been inseparable from her mother, as most newborns are in many social structures. The same way a human would rock their baby to sleep, Hazel can be seen doing the same thing, embracing Saffron. Additionally, Hazel has a second daughter, Ivy, who has not yet held Saffron.

Similar to Rafiki in The Lion King, Saffron, and her family are known for their vibrant colors. “Mandrills are well known for their vibrant colors, including brilliant shades of blue, red, and pink on their faces and yellow manes. Their colorations and patterns are unique, and no two strands of hair are the same,” Disney Parks Blog details.

Mandrill Monkey and baby Saffron

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Once fully developed, Saffron will have her own bright and unique colorations, which take three to four years. Furthermore, the birth of this adorable baby mandrill is great news for the vulnerable species, which only has about 4,000 remaining in the wild. Disney works diligently with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan to create healthy populations of animals for years to come.

Plan to ride Kilijamaro Safari your next Disney trip, and hopefully, you can see Saffron, Ivy, and Hazel hanging out at home!

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.