If you ask anyone on the Disney’s Animal Programs elephant care team, every day should be Elephant Appreciation Day, and indeed it is for all of us here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. After all, how can you not appreciate this majestic, intelligent, endlessly fascinating animal?
And every day, Guests experiencing the Kilimanjaro Safaris can see members of one of the largest elephant herds in North America. These sightings might even include our newest baby elephant, Luna, born May 20, or one of the other four young elephants that were born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Still it’s great for elephants to have their own special day, and on September 22, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate Elephant Appreciation Day with a host of activities for children and families at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
Children and families can:
- Learn what—and how much!—an elephant eats.
- Try their hand at picking up food items with a replica of an elephant’s trunk.
- Color an elephant mask that they can take home.
- Learn about the elephants that make their home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and talk with members of our elephant care team.
- Find out about our elephant conservation efforts in Africa, including how bee sounds are being used to help to keep elephants away from crops, and how innovative surgery is helping elephant population management efforts.
Facts about the Disney’s Animal Kingdom elephant herd:
- The elephant herd has thirteen members – five males and eight females.
- Five baby elephants (Tufani, Kianga, Nadirah, Tsavo and Luna) have been born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All remain on the savannah.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.
- The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Disney Foundation have directed over $1 million to projects in 20 countries to help protect and conserve elephants.
One of the many things I love about Disney is the obvious dedication to the preservation and conservation of species in trouble. I am a college Professor who teaches studio art and art history at two small community colleges in Missouri, and I am presently working on a one man show about endangered species- it is a subject close to my heart.I have been to Disney World and the Resorts in Florida 38 times since it opened, and was so happy to see the Animal Kingdom be built.It is such a lovely place, and does really important work to help save animals who are continuously losing ground in the wild.Having people be able to get close and actually see real animals in a habitat that looks like their own is a valuable educational tool to teach not only children, but to reach adults who might not have any awareness of just how precarious things are out there for the remaining wild creatures.The more people are aware of it and can be motivated to help, the better.Elephants have suffered horribly, and continue to struggle to survive.Being able to take my grandsons to a place where they can see what real elephants look like on a Serengeti-like plain, and not frustrated in a cage on chains, is a priceless experience.Yes, the elephants deserve their own day- I only wish I could come, and did not have to wait until the spring semester lets out.But, I will be back down as soon as I post my student’s grades, for my annual dose of sanity!I look forward so much every year to visiting Disney World, especially the new Animal Kingdom.I have enjoyed seeing the elephant herd grow with each visit.Keep up the good work-
At the end of August I could see to Moon. Precious creature, it looks like a lie that one day is like his mother ……
Thank you very much to the whole world that is employed with the animals at Animal Kingdom.
Congratulations to the Elephants and to you.
That sounds like fun, I’m going to try to take my son! He loves going to Animal Kingdom and seeing all the different animals!