LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 7, 2009 – The animal care team from Walt Disney World Resort has been busy since last Mother’s Day, assisting with the births of more than 440 animals and more importantly, helping to ensure that the relationship between mother and child remains uncompromised.
While much focus is given to the expert care of the animals during the birthing process, equal attention is given to the delicate and complex mother-child bonding process which uniquely varies among species and among individual animals.
For example, animal care experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were recently monitoring two baby vultures hatched from two different sets of new parents. One pair adapted quickly to their new parenting roles, while the other pair struggled and had difficulty feeding their new offspring. Concerned about malnourishment, the animal husbandry team intervened by providing supplemental food to the smaller bird. Eventually, the struggling parents began copying the behaviors of the adept parents and improved their parenting skills. Their efforts have been successful and today, both young chicks are of equal size.