As if the reasons for visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watch weren’t numerous enough, Out of the Wild, the area’s gift shop is now offering Adopt-A-Nest packages from Disney’s Vero Beach resort.
Up until now, the offer has been available exclusively at the Vero Beach Resort, but now guests at Walt Disney World have the opportunity to adopt their own sea turtle nest while benefitting sea turtle conservation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF).
For the adoption fee of $50, guests will receive a Squirt plush toy (from Finding Nemo); a Disney Worldwide Conservation Hero Button; and an adoption certificate that lists the species of turtle and location of the nest. Guests can use their certificate number to track their nest’s success and possible hatchings on DisneyConservation.com. All proceeds go directly to the DWCF and sea turtle conservation efforts in Florida.
LAKE 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.