Yellow-Backed Duiker Calf Born for First Time in 20 Years at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

A small deer is laying in hay at Walt Disney World.
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Dr. Mark Penning announced the birth of a yellow-backed duiker calf at Disney’s Animal Kingdom today in an Instagram post for the first time in more than 20 years. Dr. Penning serves as Disney’s Vice-President of Animals, Science & Environment.

Animal Kingdom Welcomes Newest Family Member

Join us in welcoming Penny, our newest addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park! This sweet yellow-backed duiker calf was born earlier this month to mom Pearl. The birth of Penny is an incredible milestone, as the last yellow-backed duiker calf born in our care was over 20 years ago. This birth is truly special to me, as yellow-backed duikers are one of my favorite animals. It’s been a pleasure working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan to introduce this unique species to our guests. Mom and baby are backstage now, but you can look out for this adorable pair on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail later this summer.

animal kingdom baby duiker calf

Yellow-backed duikers are shy forest-dwelling antelope found in portions of and Central and Western Africa. They are the largest of all duikers. While not yet considered endangered, they are categorized as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature — meaning they may be vulnerable to endangerment in the forseeable future.


As mentioned in Penning’s announcement, baby Penny and mom Pearl will soon be greeting guests on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Right beside Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Africa portion of the park, this trail offers encounters with gorillas, hippos, zebra, and more.

Meander along the winding paths through Pangani Forest and encounter African animals at every turn. Peer at a meerkat on a rocky perch, or a Grevy’s zebra on the savanna. Come face-to-face with a gentle troop of western lowland gorillas on a grassy hillside. During your self-guided tour, snap pictures from convenient observation stations and learn more about Disney’s global conservation efforts to protect animals like this—and their habitats.

instagram screenshot boar birth animal kingdom lodge 3 1

During Mother’s Day weekend, another baby was born at the nearby Animal Kingdom Lodge — red river hog Daisy gave birth to a healthy boy.

What is your favorite animal to visit at the parks? Have you ever had a more personal interaction with some of these creatures at the Affection Section in Rafiki’s Planet Watch? Let us know in the comments.

Be sure to check out other recent developments in the Animal Kingdom:

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  • Jonathan D
    Jonathan D

    Originally from Los Angeles and Honolulu, Jonathan is a fan of cinema and theme parks who grew up on the original California Disneyland, and nurtures a particular admiration in Orlando for EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. His favorite resort on Earth would be Disneyland Paris, which doesn’t seem to get the full admiration it deserves. You can find him in the Hufflepuff Common Room by the kitchens at [email protected]

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