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Wildlife Wednesdays: What Do a 400-Pound Gorilla and a One-Pound Cotton-Top Tamarin Have in Common? Find out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests can find out the answer to this question and many more during special celebrations taking place in August. So you are not kept in suspense, here’s the answer: They’re both primates — a diverse group of animals that includes apes, monkeys and lemurs.


Disney's Animal Kingdom Celebrates Primates, Featuring the Siamang Disney's Animal Kingdom Celebrates Primates, Featuring the White-Cheeked Gibbon Disney's Animal Kingdom Celebrates Primates, Featuring the Emperor Tamarin

On August 1, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate the world’s primates, including those species — like gorillas, white-cheeked gibbons, siamangs, ring-tailed lemurs, and cotton-top and emperor tamarins — that make their home at the park. Guests will be able to participate in a variety of activities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and near primate habitats throughout the rest of the park, and learn what primates eat, what tools certain primates use, and what all of us can do to help conserve primates. There will even be face painters and caricature artists with designs featuring primates created just for the celebration. Guests can also find out how Disney is helping save some special primates — orphan gorillas in Africa — at GRACE (Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center) with help from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund


After August 1, for the remainder of the month, the celebration focuses on the cotton-top tamarin. This tiny, critically endangered primate is found only in Colombia and South America, where August 15 has been proclaimed a national holiday — the Day of the Cotton-Top Tamarin. Guests can find out cotton-top tamarins’ favorite foods, how scientists locate them in the forest, and even how to do the cotton-top tamarin dance. Guests also can learn about the conservation efforts of Proyecto Titi, an organization founded by our own Anne Savage, Ph.D., and dedicated to saving the cotton-top tamarin.

Just last month, the United Women Artisans’ Association of Los Limites, who make eco-mochilas (colorful tote bags made from plastic bags, which reduce the amount of plastic litter in the forests and villages) as part of Proyecto Titi, were selected from more than 800 applicants to receive the Equator Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to sustainable development for people, nature and communities, during the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The artisan group was one of 25 honorees selected, and the group also was given one of 10 thematic special recognition awards. Anne Savage said, after attending the award celebration, “After years of working on Proyecto Titi, this really was one of the times where you can see how hard work by local communities really can change the world.”

Upcoming 2012 wildlife conservation events at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (as always, dates subject to change):

  • September 5: International Vulture Awareness Day
  • September 26: Elephant Awareness Day
  • October 31: Bat Day

And at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, celebrate International Manatee Day on September 7.

For more updates from the Wildlife Wednesdays series, see the posts below:


  • Our most magical moment was when we went very early in the morning to the gorilla display. We where the first guests and the mist was still there hovering low above the ground. A senior cast member was there picking up a leaf and enjoying the beauty of this morning. It was our first time at Animal Kingdom and we got a bit misty ourselves seeing these wonderful animals there. After a while the cast member came up to us and asked us if we liked it and we told him how overwhelmingly beautiful it was. He started talking about how on the left the male where situated and to the right a dominant male and his wives where living. He kept on talking to passionate about these animals and we kept listing in awe. It was the best magic ever. Thanks.

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