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Tag Archives: Conservation

August 24

August 24, 2006 – Disney Donates Two White Rhinos to Africa

“I think the four rhino already living in Ziwa can’t wait to teach the new arrivals a thing or two about living in the wild.” – Lilian Nsubuga, Uganda Wildlife Authority Spokesman

On August 24, 2006, two white rhinos took their first steps on African soil after living in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida. The rhinos were taken to Africa to help boost the dwindling numbers there, as only about 17,500 exist in the wild. They were released in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in the Nakasongola district, located outside of Kampala. The rhinos, Nande (7-years-old) and Hasani (5-years-old), were a little wary once removed from the crate, but sanctuary workers were hopeful that they would acclimate to their new home and breed within the next year.


May 4

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May 4, 2012 – A Male White Rhino is Born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

“A rhino birth is a significant event because at one time the species was nearly extinct.”

On May 4, 2012, it was announced that a male white rhino calf was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This was the fourth white rhino born to 13-year-old Kendi, who was the first rhino born in the park. His birth is also significant as being the third generation of the line that started at the park. Disney is part of specialized conservation efforts to help save the declining rhino population, which has grown to over 20,000 worldwide.

January 17

January 17, 2010 – Endangered White Rhino is Born in Animal Kingdom

“We’re beginning the week with a celebration.”

On January 17, 2010, Disney’s Animal Kingdom welcomed an addition to their park, as endangered white rhino Kendi gave birth to her third baby. Kendi was the first white rhino born at the park’s sanctuary, and her baby was the eighth. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has helped extensively with the conservation of this endangered species, with two of the white rhinos born in the park brought to the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda to help reestablish the population that had been close to extinct since the 1980s.

November 1

November 1, 1999 – The Disney Wilderness Preserve Opens to the Public

“At The Disney Wilderness Preserve, nature offers you a front-row seat to conservation at its best.”

On November 1, 1999, the Disney Wilderness Preserve opened to the public, almost seven years after its initial purchase. Disney acquired the 12,000-acre area of the Walker Ranch in 1992 with the plan to turn the land into an expansion area of Walt Disney World, but instead gave the land to the Nature Conservancy with the intent of turning it into a preservation. When it opened in 1999, it featured a special Conservation Learning Center, along with nature trails that guests can walk at their leisure, a lab in conjunction with the University of Central Florida and the National Ecological Observatory, and wood stork rookery. Overall, the area is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and animals.

May 19

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May 19, 2010 – Turtle Day is Celebrated in Animal Kingdom Park

“May is a fantastic month to celebrate turtles and tortoises.”

On May 19, 2010, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park held a special day of events to celebrate Turtle Day, which sought to bring awareness to turtles and tortoises and what guests can do to protect them. Activities that day included sessions to teach guests what threatens turtle habitats, interactive ways of using “turtle sight” to find food, and up-close-and-personal looks at some of the turtle and tortoise species that the park conservationists protect. 2010 was a particularly important year to highlight conservation efforts for turtles and tortoises, as Disney worked in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to offer assistance and resources to those animals hurt by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

April 23

April 23, 1993 – Walker Ranch Officially Becomes Disney Wilderness Preserve

“Without [Carol Browner’s] vision, we would continue to have the kind of thoughtless development that has been consuming Florida.” – Dick Weinstein, The Nature Conservancy.

On April 23, 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held a special ceremony as the famed Walker Ranch became the new Disney Wilderness Preserve. Spearheaded by Carol Browner, who was then the secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, Disney bought the property to compensation for the 12 miles of wetlands the company is to tear down for the purposes of expanding Walt Disney World; the plan had Disney hand the reins of the former ranch to the Nature Conservancy to turn it into a preservation site, with Disney handling all costs associated. Though the ranch had several instances of foresting and dredging on the property, it was still considered a key piece of the 45,000 acres that make the headway of the Kissimmee River, and was also home to two endangered species: the bald eagle and the wood stork.

December 30

December 30, 2011 – Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Gives $5000 to Appalachian Bear Rescue


“We are grateful that the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund was able to help ABR care for the cubs orphaned due to the mass crop failure.” – ABR Board President Jack Burgin

On December 30, 2011, it was announced that the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund gave a $5000 grant to the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR). This grant was to help the ABR in its mission of assisting the feeding and care of orphan bear cubs within the organization. In 2011, due to a shortage of food supplies in the wild, ABR took in 33 orphaned black bear cubs; ABR will take care of these cubs until they are able to return to the wild.

November 3

November 3, 2009 – Disney Announces Investment in Forest Conservation Projects


“That’s why as part of our company commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to protect diverse habitats we’re making a major investment in projects to protect forests…”

On November 3, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a $7 million investment in various forest conservation efforts worldwide, including the Amazon, the Congo, the Lower Mississippi River valley, and Northern California; $4 million of this will go to work with Conservation International for restoration projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as the Alto Mayo conservation project in Peru. Disney, already working on cutting down their fossil fuel use and their carbon footprint, made these donations to help partners Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, and The Conservation Fund.

October 5

October 5, 2008 – A Male Giraffe is Born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom


“The young males, who began nursing successfully soon after birth, are already feisty and very active.”

On October 5, 2008, the Disney Animal Programs team helped deliver a male giraffe calf within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The giraffe, named Bruehler, was born to mother Aibuni, and weighed 166 pounds. Bruehler is the 13th giraffe born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and was bred through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Population Management Plan. Another giraffe was born later that month, and was named Bolo.

September 3

September 3, 2014 – A Western Lowland Gorilla is Born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom


“It’s exciting to see a strong, nurturing family of this endangered species flourishing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” – Animal Operations Manager for Disney’s Animal Programs Jay Therien

On September3, 2014, a western lowland male gorilla was born in Disney’s Animal Kingdom; this was the second birth of this gorilla species within the past month. The baby was born to mother Kashata and father Gino, with Gino also being the father of the gorilla born earlier in August. These arrivals mark the fourth and fifth gorillas born within Animal Kingdom, with the care and conservation done in partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.