More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

One-Stop Searching: Disney and Conservation

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Together with Conservation International, Disney’s investments will help protect forests in the Congo Basin to reduce carbon emissions and benefit habitat for a wide-variety of species including the endangered gorilla.

This week, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund honored six “Disney Conservation Heroes” at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) conference in Houston. In addition to having two Guest experiences – Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends – accredited by AZA, Disney works around the globe to conserve and protect many species of wildlife.

Guests get a firsthand look at conservation when visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Celebrating Vultures, Nature’s Clean-Up Crew – To help Guests learn more about vultures, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will join other conservation organizations around the world in celebrating International Vulture Awareness Day on September 2.

Injured Sea Turtles from the Gulf Arrive for Care at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Disney’s Animal Programs transported six endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles — among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world — and two green sea turtles from the Florida Panhandle to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

From Frogs to Elephants: Biodiversity Celebrated at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – In July, Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrated the International Year of Biodiversity at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.

Baby Warthogs and Oryx Join Disney’s Animal Kingdom Family – Three baby warthogs were born at the park on July 1.

Baby Elephant Takes First Steps on Kilimanjaro Safaris Savannah – Our new baby elephant, Luna, began her introduction to the Kilimanjaro Safaris savannah at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in June – part of a carefully developed plan by Disney’s Animal Programs animal care experts that included bonding time for Luna and her mom, introductions to other members of the herd, and even a swim test to prepare Luna for the ponds on the savannah.

May 19 is Turtle Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – In May, Disney’s Animal Kingdom hosted a Turtle Day celebration where Guests learned about turtles and tortoises – and what they could do to protect them and their habitats.

May 8 is “For the Birds” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Guests celebrated bird migration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with activities throughout the park in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day.

Elephants Have Word for ‘Bee-Ware’ – Do elephants tell members of their elephant family to beware when bees are nearby? That’s just one of the exciting questions scientists at Disney’s Animal Kingdom get a chance to ponder.

Party for the Planet on Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – April 22 is a very special day for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not only is it Earth Day, but it’s also our theme park’s birthday.

Spring Forward to Help Endangered Frogs – Young Guests and their families got the chance play games that taught them about a frog’s life cycle and adaptations, listen to frog calls, and enter jumping contests to see if they could leap as far as a frog can.

Endangered Gorilla Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Lilly is the third gorilla born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the AZA Species Survival Plan.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Baby White-Cheeked Gibbon – This baby white-cheeked gibbon was born as part of a gibbon Species Survival Plan program.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Endangered White Rhino to Herd – We welcomed a new member of the family to Disney’s Animal Kingdom early this year — a baby white rhino.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Welcomes Gerenuk Calf to Herd – Squirt is a gerenuk, an African antelope with a unique long neck usually found in dry, bushy shrub.

Wildlife Interaction Inspires Conservation Action at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Two young giraffes, Bruehler and Bolo, serve as ambassadors for their fellow giraffes in the wild.

Bats Are Special, Not Spooky – Our bats, which Guests can see every day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, get their annual physical exams each year in the days surrounding Halloween.

Mickey’s Cousin Gets a Helping Hand: Saving the Key Largo Woodrat – Since 2005, Disney’s Animal Programs has been assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a recovery plan for the Key Largo woodrat, including the development of a woodrat breeding program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends provides more than fun and learning for Guests – it is also home to many aquatic species.

A Boatload of Fun on World Oceans Day – Guests learned how they could protect our oceans at The Seas with Nemo & Friends on World Oceans Day, June 8. In one of several activities, families learned how coral reefs form, what wildlife live there, and the threats that face coral reefs today.

Seas Team Welcomes Rescued Manatee, Returns Another to the Wild – Earlier this year, The Seas team welcomed rescued manatee, Jasper. The team expects Jasper to be released back into the wild after he has gained weight and received medical care for cold stress.

Beyond the parks, Disney’s Animal Programs and The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund brings the spirit of conservation to animals in danger around the world.

Tour de Turtles at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort Boosts Awareness for Sea Creatures – Disney’s Animal Programs researchers track some 10 endangered sea turtles to learn more about their habits and migratory patterns.

Building a Home for Orphaned Gorillas – Construction on GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center), which was initiated by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International with advice on design and systems provided by team members from Disney’s Animal Programs and the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), is under way. The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is providing funding toward initial operating expenses for the facility.

Conserving for the Future on Earth Day — and Every Day – The Disney Conservation Report provides information on how we’re saving animals on the brink of extinction, protecting forests and other precious ecosystems, and helping people around the world help wildlife and wild places.

Endangered Sea Turtles, Rescued from the Cold, Are Now Being Released – Rescuing more than 4,500 sea turtles impacted by the record cold temperatures this year took a massive effort by Disney’s Animal Programs and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Walt Disney Company Investing $7M in Projects to Protect World’s Forests – In partnership with leading conservation groups Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund, we’ve invested $7 million to support projects that use a variety of strategies including avoided deforestation, reforestation and integrated forest management.

Saving Gorillas – It’s Part of Our Mission – Find out how the Disney’s Animal Programs team is helping gorillas.


  • Are those Mountain Gorillas in Africa, or are those the Lowland Gorillas that are in the Animal Kingdom?

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