It’s a very exciting week for the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). We are proud to announce the 2010 recipients of the “Disney Conservation Heroes” awards at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) conference in Houston where more than 2,000 professionals from zoos and aquariums across North America are gathered. You might know already that Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends are accredited by AZA.
Our six honorees this year are men and women who have made great personal sacrifice. Some of them are self-taught conservationists — one is even a reformed poacher. All have gone to extraordinary lengths for wildlife. They’ve saved chimpanzees from wildfires, protected sea turtles from poachers and reintroduced a rare species into an area where it had disappeared. Our own Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President, Animal Programs and Environmental Initiatives, Disney Parks, who is being recognized herself this week for years of service supporting AZA’s commitment to conservation, called them “extraordinary individuals who are passionate about protecting animals and habitats.”
In fact we ALL have the power to make a difference for wildlife and wild places – through volunteerism — through gifts of time or money — and through personal or professional commitment. I encourage you to read our Conservation Heroes’ stories at www.disney.com/conservation. I couldn’t help but be inspired by their dedication and accomplishments. I know you will be too.