In October, we celebrated $5 million in grants awarded by the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) in 2018 to protect the magic of nature around the world. A very exciting part of that was applauding 13 people across the globe as Disney Conservation Heroes for their tireless efforts to save wildlife and inspire communities to take part in conservation projects. In recognition of their dedication, each Hero and the nominating organization will share a $1,500 award. Throughout the year, we will be highlighting the stories of these incredible people on the @DisneyAnimals social media pages, but we wanted to share an example today.
One of this year’s awardees is The Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) Team. Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the all-Congolese GRACE Team manages the Center’s operations and provides life-saving care to orphaned and Critically Endangered Grauer’s gorillas. Last year, when safety concerns forced the community near GRACE to flee, the GRACE staff decided to stay, risking their personal security to protect the gorillas. Despite facing unimaginable challenges, the GRACE Team remains dedicated to protecting Grauer’s gorillas and engaging their community in saving wildlife.
The GRACE Team is just one example of the amazing people being recognized this year as Disney Conservation Heroes. From safeguarding natural resources, to spearheading environmental education programs and protecting species on the brink of extinction, this year’s Heroes have again inspired us through their commitment to going above and beyond to ensure wildlife and wild places are protected in their communities.
We are thankful for the generosity of guests across Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line whose contributions to the fund support the DCF’s efforts to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet through the Disney Conservation Hero Award and other grants to leading conservation organizations.
We are proud to honor the dedication of our latest Disney Conservation Heroes and invite you to read more of their stories here.