Disney's Animal Kingdom welcomes its first baby babirusa, born during COVID-19 closure

As if we could ever get tired of baby animal news

Photo: Disney

Disney's Animal Kingdom has gone through a baby boom during the coronavirus closure.


In February, we were introduced to Shelley the Porcupette and in March Disney welcomed a new female Hartmann’s mountain zebra foal to the herd.


MORE: It's a girl! Disney welcomes new porcupine, names her after Cast Member


Now, we get to squeal with excitement over the birth of a babirusa piglet.


If you're thinking, "Wow, Piglet sure looks different", you wouldn't be wrong.


"Babirusas are part of the hog family, native to the swamps and rainforests of the Indonesian Islands," according to Dr. Mark Penning, Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks.


The baby girl was born to parents Betty and Mentari and marks a first for the park.


"Over the last 15 years, Disney animal care experts partnered with reproductive biologists and the SSP (Species Survival Plan) to “crack the code” on breeding a babirusa pair," Dr. Penning said.

Disney officials decided to honor her native island when choosing her name.


"Our Disney animal care team has chosen to name her Kirana, which translates to “sunbeam” in Indonesian," Dr. Penning added.


Dr. Penning says babirusas are known for their unique snouts and magnificent tusks that can grow up to almost 17 inches long.


MORE: Disney welcomes new Hartmann’s Zebra foal during coronavirus pandemic


Close relatives of the babirusa can also be found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The warthogs on Kilimanjaro Safaris and the KuneKune pigs at the Affection Section share similar traits to Kirana.


"The piglet is making an important contribution toward the worldwide conservation and understanding of the species, which will help ensure a future generation for these vulnerable animals," Dr. penning said. "The piglet is healthy and bonding with mom inside their den at the park."


© 2020 by Thomas Metevia.