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Celebrating Animal Care at Walt Disney World Resort

Dr. Mark Penning

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

Each year, together with our colleagues at zoos and aquariums around the world, we celebrate the work of animal care experts who spend their lives caring for wild life and wild places.  This week, we’re celebrating the efforts of our incredible team of animal keepers, aquarists and water scientists, ranch hands, all of our veterinary team members and scientists, nutritionists, behaviorists and leaders. These cast members hail from all over the world and bring a range of different skills and talents together to care for the thousands of animals who call our parks and resorts home. They’re not only dedicated to the animals in our care but they’re also some of the most passionate conservationists I know. I am so proud to lead this team of dedicated, talented cast.

Disney cast member cares for animal

Our company’s passion for animals and conservation dates back to Walt Disney himself, who created the True-Life Adventures film series to take audiences into the lives of animals that they may never see personally. We’re so honored to carry on that legacy and continue to share the importance of living in harmony with nature and working to protect the wonderous animals on our planet. 

Caring for animals is a 24/7, 365 days a year, responsibility, and our teams work diligently to keep the well-being of each animal their number one priority. Ever wonder what it takes to prepare a diet for an elephant? Or train a tiger to participate in its own healthcare? We’re so excited that soon, you’ll get a peek behind-the-scenes as the stories of these animal care experts and the animals they care for come to life in “The Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” streaming this fall on Disney+

National Geographic - Magic of Disney's Animal Kingdom

From National Geographic, the global leader in natural-history programming, and premiering on Disney+, this new series will give viewers a one-of-a-kind look into the daily operation of our advanced animal care and veterinary facilities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT and will showcase the dedication and expertise of our amazing cast members.

Can’t wait to learn more? Follow along on social media as we give you a look at the many roles within animal care and show that no matter if they are performing a medical procedure, cleaning a barn or diving into the aquarium at The Seas, our cast members’ passion and dedication to their craft remains constant. Follow me on Instagram @DrMarkatDisney and check out the Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Facebook page to join in on the fun.  


  • Sounds like a good show. Can’t wait to see it! 🙂

  • Really looking forward to this. My family and I love everything about Disney’s Animal Kingdom .. especially how well the animals are cared for. A true testimony to all the cast members that do their job faithfully; day in and day out. Keep up the great (and important) work!

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