A goal of Animal Kingdom is to offer Guests insight into what is required to maintain the Park’s animal population, and its Africa section provides many of those magical opportunities.
Hop aboard the Wildlife Express Train. As the sole transport to Rafiki’s Planet Watch (formerly called Conservation Station), this rustic journey takes Guests up close and behind the scenes of the care and handling of more than 1,000 animals. You’ll ride the rails through savanna sleeping areas of rhinos, elephants, lions and other animals, and you’ll see veterinary structures and how these buildings relate to the onstage components of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Animal Kingdom “extends beyond its berm” at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Here, Guests have hands-on opportunities to work with Disney’s own conservation efforts. It is here where Disney’s Animal Kingdom connects back to the human world, the world in which Guests live, and it is here that Disney offers “optimistic, positive conservation messages meant to instill hope that change can be effected, and knowledge as to how an individual can participate in that change.” Guests can observe veterinary medical attention being done onsite, they can meet animal handlers, they can observe food preparation, and they can visit the Park’s nursery. They can view short films, use interactive video displays, see live animal encounters, and enjoy an animal petting zoo. And they can walk away with a better understanding of how they can take action in solving challenges that face the environment.
Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund is very active in many efforts around the globe in conserving, protecting and preserving wildlife and their environments. Disney announced in September of this year that the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) awarded $2 million to conservation projects 2011, the highest amount ever contributed in a single year. This year’s DWCF grant recipients include the National Audubon Society, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund, among others. More than 250 projects proposals were submitted. To qualify for selection, the programs “must address a critical conservation need, offer education and community engagement, an ability to influence decision makers and solid scientific investigation.”
DWCF has awarded nearly $18 million since 1995 to support conservation programs in 111 countries. A complete list of grant recipients and The Walt Disney Company’s most recent Conservation Report can be found here.
Today, explore some of the ways in which YOU can be a responsible steward of our planet. Disney’s Friends for Change is a great place to find some simple ways to begin. Here are a few ideas:
• Flush the toilet less often by not using it as a waste basket.
• Gather up some friends for a picnic at the park. But, kick it up a Disney notch by donating an hour of that time to picking up litter and depositing it in the proper receptacles.
• Research natural disasters and learn how you can aid victims.
• Start a kindness patrol. When you notice a family member or friend doing something nice, write them a secret “thank you” to let them know it was appreciated.
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Visit the United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and learn more about what people are doing all over the world to help build a sustainable world.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Conservation
SKILL LEVEL: All
*This article is included in the DisMarks Disney Blog Carnival #34. Stop by to see what great information our friends are talking about!*