How Disney’s Animal Kingdom Goes Batty Over Halloween

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Bat training and enrichment at Disney's Animal KingdomAs Halloween approaches, several creatures of the night are getting a series of treats from a team of medical experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Around this time each year, veterinary care specialists conduct annual wellness checks on a roost of endangered bats as part of Disney’s commitment to excellent animal care.

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Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Provides Emergency Support for Chimpanzees

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is responding immediately to needs of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance to protect endangered chimpanzees in Africa.

The Jane Goodall Institute was awarded $5,000 for veterinary supplies to vaccinate chimpanzees and staff against a dangerous measles outbreak at the Tchimpounga Sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chimpanzees are highly susceptible to human diseases, and the high cost of vaccines for 146 chimpanzees and 60 staff members jeopardized the team’s ability to cope with future medical emergencies.

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Elephant Calf Welcomed into World at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

New male elephant African Elephant calf with with mother, VashaThe elephant herd at Disney’s Animal Kingdom got just a little larger with the birth of a baby calf. Weighing 311 pounds, the male African elephant was welcomed into the group by his mother Vasha, 10 herd members and a team of animal care professionals assisting with the birth.

The 25-year-old mother delivered the herd’s sixth offspring after gaining more than 800 pounds during a 22-month gestation. This latest addition, which has yet to be named, is the second calf for Vasha, who gave birth to a female calf, Kianga, in 2004.

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Baby Mandrill Welcomed into World at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Baby mandrill and mother

After six and a half months of waiting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is welcoming a “colorful” addition to its animal family. A male baby mandrill was born May 30 to first-time mother, Kelley, and is the third one born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Mom and baby are doing very well.

Native to Africa, mandrills are among the largest species of monkey in the world and are considered endangered. They’re known for their bright coloration, furry head crests, manes and beards. Adults also have thick purple and blue ridges along their noses, big red lips and golden beards. Fans of Disney’s animated movie “The Lion King” might recall Rafiki, who was not only a colorful character, but a mandrill as well.

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Rehabbed Osprey Released Back Into Wild at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort

Osprey release at Coronado Springs Resort. Photo courtesy Walt Disney World ResortAfter a four-month rehabilitation at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, an adult male osprey was recently released at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort near the site where he was rescued earlier this summer. An eager group of Walt Disney World Cast Members and resort guests looked on as the bird took to the air for the first time since June.

The osprey was emaciated and listless when he was found on June 17. After receiving emergency care from Disney animal care experts, the raptor was transported to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Fla. for further treatment. After several months of intensive care, the bird was moved to the Center’s Magic of Flight barn to stretch his wings and complete the rehabilitation process.

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Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Names 2010 ‘Disney Conservation Heroes’

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) announced the recipients of the “Disney Conservation Heroes” award for 2010 today during the annual meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The award recognizes citizens around the world for their tireless efforts at the local level to save wildlife, protect habitats and educate the communities around them.

“Conservation efforts around the globe and in our own backyard rely on the local community and direct involvement of dedicated people like our Disney Conservation Heroes,” said Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President, Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These are extraordinary individuals who are passionate about protecting animals and habitats in areas of critical concern.”

This year’s honorees represent conservation programs in six countries and three continents that concentrate on a wide array of animal species from sea turtles to chimpanzees. They were nominated by nonprofit environmental organizations and AZA zoos and aquariums committed to field conservation programs.

Each award recipient and their nominating organization will share a $1,000 award from the DWCF. This year’s recipients include:

(more…)

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Disney Tends to Eight Turtles Injured by Oil Spill; Donates $100,000 to Gulf Rescue Efforts

Cast members attend to a sea turtle injured in the oil spill. Photo courtesy of Disney.Eight turtles injured by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico today began their rehabilitation at Walt Disney World Resort under the care of Disney animal experts.

Animal care experts from Disney’s Animal Programs returned Thursday from the Florida Panhandle with six Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles – among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world – and two Green Sea Turtles injured by the spill. The Disney animal care team stands ready to help in the Panhandle as needed and rehabilitation facilities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends are available for treating turtles and birds impacted by the spill.

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Endangered Sea Turtles Displaced by Oil Spill Thriving at Walt Disney World Resort

Two Disney animal care experts at Epcot’s The Seas take measurements of a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle as they track its rehabilitation progress. Photo courtesy DisneyTwo ailing Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles are on the road to recovery after being brought to Walt Disney World Resort last month from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss. to make room for animals directly impacted by the Gulf oil spill.

The sea turtles, suffering from pneumonia, were flown to Orlando June 25 and placed in the care of Disney animal experts. Kemp’s Ridley turtles are among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world. The two are being monitored in a special backstage area at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot and will require several months of rehabilitation before they are released back into the wild. Progress so far is favorable.

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Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund Announces 2010 Grant Recipients

Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has announced the 2010 recipients of nearly $1.5 million in grants to protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems around the world. The funding enables nonprofit organizations to provide support for more than 45 species across the globe–from protecting the critically endangered Sumatran rhino in Indonesia, to tracking northern jaguars in the foothills of Mexico, to studying the threats of the endangered green sea turtle.

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Giraffe From Disney’s Animal Kingdom Euthanized at Springfield, MO Zoo

Ten year old Asante, a male giraffe, left Disney’s Animal Kingdom earlier this week, headed for Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri. Owned by the San Diego Zoo and loaned out to other zoological parks for breeding purposes, Asante reportedly suffered a broken neck most likely in transit. Upon arrival at the Dickerson Park Zoo, the giraffe had difficulty exiting the trailer and maintaining his balance.

KYTV, Channel 3 in Springfield, MO, has more information on the unfortunate incident including a press release from the Zoo detailing the events that took place.

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