LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 4, 2009 –The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) is proud to provide a total of $8,000 in emergency funding to two organizations, the Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance (PASA) and Save the Elephants (STE).
The Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance received support to transport four infant chimpanzees that were confiscated from illegal traders by law enforcement in the Democratic Republic of Congo to a permanent sanctuary. The sanctuary will help the chimpanzees recover from their physical and emotional wounds and will provide them with a caring environment to re-socialize with other chimpanzees. The fragile nature of these animals would have made it difficult for them to survive without the specialized care the sanctuary will be able to provide. The chimpanzee is an endangered species, with less than 120,000 in the wild, which makes sanctuaries and rescues such as this truly vital.
In addition to this, the DWCF also provided Save the Elephants (STE) with $5,000 to radio-collar some of the last remaining elephants up against the Somali border in Kenya. The dramatic decrease in population, now in the hundreds, is largely due to ivory poaching. By tracking the elephants’ movements and learning about their needs, STE is hopeful that they will be able to help the species recover and ultimately serve as an important asset to the coastal reserves and tourism in the area.
Since 1998 the DWCF has awarded more than $450,000 in rapid response monies to more than 100 projects in times of true crisis.