Disney’s Animal Care Team Earns AZA Accreditation for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

As I shared recently, even though Walt Disney World Resort is temporarily closed, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Cast Members are continuing to provide the best care for our animals. Our team incudes experts in animal care, nutrition, veterinary care, conservation, science, and education programs – and all have a special bond to the work they do.

The team develops new forms of enrichment for our lions based on food textures and scents, trains animals to participate in their own medical care, feeds fresh lettuce to hippos and places browse (leafy branches) up high for giraffes. Those are just some of the ways the animal care team goes above and beyond to establish strong relationships with the animals and help maintain their health and well-being. 

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Because of this team’s dedication and hard work, Disney is a recognized leader in animal care and conservation. Most recently, that recognition included Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge once again earning accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  

AZA accreditation is the gold standard in animal care, and I’m incredibly proud of the entire Animals, Science and Environment Team for earning this stellar accomplishment. 

Our team is also passionate about conservation. In partnership with the Disney Conservation Fund, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, we’re working to help save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. Those efforts support nonprofit organizations and the health of hundreds of species, like the Grauer’s gorilla.

I’m so grateful for our ASE team, and I look forward to sharing more stories about the #DisneyMagicofNature. It’s easy to keep up on the Animals, Science and Environment page on Facebook and by following me on Instagram (@DrMarkAtDisney).