SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Grant $700,000 to Help Protect At-Risk Animals

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SEAWORLD & BUSCH GARDENS CONSERVATION FUND LOGO

ORLANDO, Fla., July 16  — Endangered species and habitats under stress will get a much-needed lift this week thanks to $700,000 in grants being awarded by the non-profit SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund to wildlife protection projects in the U.S. and around the world.

The Fund’s board of directors approved grants to 83 projects, including wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts, research of little-known species, protection of critical habitat, and grassroots education efforts aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors.

One of the Fund’s 2009 grant recipients, Save the Elephants, is working to protect the Earth’s largest land animal, using technology in unexpected and effective ways to reduce conflicts with humans.

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Disney Celebrates Rare White Rhino Birth in Uganda; Mom Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots. First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period. © Disney

Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots. First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period. © Disney

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 13, 2009 — Uganda’s first white rhino born in 27 years has a family tree with Disney roots.

First-time mother Nande, a 10-year-old female white rhino born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gave birth June 24 to a healthy male calf at the Ziwa Sanctuary in Uganda after a 16-month gestation period.

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Disney’s Animal Progams Leads International Effort to Manage Elephant Population

Elephant VasectomyLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 2, 2009 – Disney’s Animal Programs is leading an international coalition of veterinarians, conservation groups, zoos, universities and private industry to conduct a series of procedures to effectively sterilize male elephants to help reduce elephant overpopulation in areas of southern Africa.

The team plans to perform laparoscopic vasectomies on eight bull elephants in Swaziland’s Big Game Parks. For the past five years, the team has performed the procedure on nearly 20 male elephants in an effort to reduce the elephant birth rates in wildlife reserves, while maintaining normal hormone levels and common social behaviors for the individual elephants.

Elephant overpopulation in wildlife parks and reserves in southern Africa is a growing problem that can have devastating effects on the natural habitat as well as other animal species that live there. Wildlife officials in several countries are considering culling elephants in order to control the population growth.

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Sea Turtles Get a Boost from Guests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort (Video)

Sea TurtleLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 2, 2009 — With sea turtle nesting season in full swing, Disney’s Animal Program’s experts are keeping busy at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort where hundreds of female sea turtles will come ashore through September to complete a pilgrimage they do every few years – lay eggs. Approximately 50,000 sea turtles come ashore in Florida each year, making it one of the most fertile nesting areas in the United States.

While not easy, the process of establishing a nest starts with the female dragging her heavy body out of the water to the sand dunes. Using her back flippers, she digs a hole to deposit approximately one hundred rubbery eggs, each the size of a golf ball. The turtle hides the nest by covering the hole with sand and heads back to the ocean.

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Disney Emergency Support Will Help Move 60 Elephants in Africa to a New Home

Baby elephant. Photo courtesy of IFAWThe Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) is providing emergency support to Conservation Solutions (CS) to help translocate more than 60 elephants that are currently living amongst communal farming lands in the district of Mangochi, Lake Malawi. Due to increased competition between humans and elephants for natural resources there has been a dramatic upswing in illegal poaching, poisoning and other efforts to manage the animals.

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Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Announces Grants for 67 Conservation Projects Worldwide

Burbank, Calif, June 4, 2009 —  In celebration of World Environment Day, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) today announced the funding of programs that will support more than 90 species and promote habitat conservation in 33 countries. The 2009 DWCF grant recipients will receive almost $1.5 million for efforts ranging from protecting Pakistan’s majestic Snow Leopards, to following the migration of Magellanic penguins in Argentina to reintroducing endangered Whooping Cranes in eastern North America.

“Creating a positive ecosystem impact is a key goal of The Walt Disney Company. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is a natural extension of that philosophy, enabling leading environmental organizations and scientists to address some of the most critical issues facing animals and ecosystems around the world. We applaud these deserving recipients and are pleased to play a part in their efforts,” said Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, environmental affairs, The Walt Disney Company.

Now in its fourteenth year, the DWCF, through support from The Walt Disney Company and Disney Guests, has contributed more than $14 million to conservation projects for the study and protection of the world’s wildlife and habitats.

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When it Comes to Big Love, HBO has Nothing on Disney

Topeka’s KTKA is reporting that the Topeka Zoo’s lonely hippo-turned-cougar, Mara,  will soon have a potential suitor in Tucker, a younger hippo gentleman from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In the name of ‘research,’ I mistakingly googled on the mating habits of the hippopotamus. I didn’t go past that, but evidently it’s made the list of several top 10 ‘bizarre’ mating rituals.

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Disney and Other Coalition Members Decide on Climate-Forests Agreement

WASHINGTON, May 20  — Several of the nation’s top environmental groups, conservation organizations, and corporate leaders today released details of an agreement on policies aimed at protecting the world’s tropical forests. Ongoing burning and destruction of these forests is responsible for approximately one-fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions — more than all the world’s cars, trucks, planes, and ships combined.

The coalition includes: American Electric Power, Conservation International, Duke Energy, Environmental Defense Fund, El Paso Corporation, National Wildlife Federation, Marriott International, Mercy Corps, Natural Resources Defense Council, PG&E Corporation, Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Walt Disney Company, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Woods Hole Research Center.

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The Walt Disney Company Launches ‘Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green’ Campaign

Multiplatform Environmental Initiative on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney and Disney.com Features Star-Studded Lineup of Disney’s Young Talent Pledging Environmental Stewardship and Encouraging Other Kids to Do the Same

Kids’ Votes Determine How Disney Will Divide $1 Million in Donations Among Environmental Causes

DC Friends for ChangeBURBANK, Calif., May 14, 2009 — The Walt Disney Company today announced Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green, a multiplatform environmental initiative that will help kids help the planet. Disney stars Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato are among the 29 young stars participating in outreach messages to debut on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney and Disney.com. The Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green initiative invites young people to join together to help the environment across four key areas: climate, water, waste and habitats. Kids will learn practical ways to preserve the planet, track their collective impact and have the opportunity to vote on how $1 million in donations from Disney will be divided and invested in various environmental causes over the course of a year.

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Celebrating Mother’s Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Video)

Several new mothers are celebrating Mother’s Day at Walt Disney World a bit differently than the typical vacationing guest. For starters, they aren’t on vacation. They live at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. And they won’t be having Sunday dinner in any of the popular Disney restaurants. But despite the things these mothers do differently, because they are an elephant, a monkey, and a vulture, one thing is the same: the strong mother/baby bond as the new babies learn about their environment. Animal Operations Director, Matt Hohne, introduces the babies including Tsavo the African elephant, Zahra the Colobus monkey, and two Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture chicks.

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