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.
“We are thrilled to contribute to the sustainment of this critical species in Uganda,” said Jackie Ogden, Ph.D., Vice President of Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We are joining with the Government of Uganda and Rhino Fund Uganda in celebrating this milestone birth, which represents a significant accomplishment for wildlife conservation.”
Nande is one of two white rhinos transferred in 2006 as part of the first-ever reintroduction of white rhinos from the United States to Africa. She was joined by Hasani, also born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to help re-establish a white rhino population that has been extinct in Uganda since 1982 as a casualty of civil unrest in the region. There are an estimated 11,000 white rhinos remaining worldwide, with 190 in North American zoos.
Walt Disney World’s commitment to conservation and rhinos goes beyond this first-ever rhino transfer. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has supported more than $250,000 in rhino protection and research projects in partnership with non-profit organizations throughout the world. For more information on the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund visit www.disney.com/conservation.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and a link to helping animals in their native habitats.