Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bonsu the Giraffe Highlights Disney's Conservation Efforts

Bonsu the giraffe is a year old this week. As the 11th giraffe ever to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the cute “toddler” marks another success in Disney’s animal conversation efforts. Bonsu was the fourth male giraffe to be born at the Animal Kingdom. He weighed in at 155 pounds and was 6 feet tall at birth. 2008, the year he was born, saw the arrival of three other giraffes to the Animal Kingdom family. Bonsu isn’t the only big name in the Animal Kingdom playground.

Back in 2006, Nande and Hasani, two African white rhinos, were born at the Animal Kingdom and sent to Africa to help reestablish the population of African white rhinos. Disney helped raise over $800,000 toward helping the rhinos in Africa. They’ve also had three African elephants born in captivity. All of these cute additions to the family highlight Disney’s efforts to help save animals and the environment.

Animal Kingdom’s 500 acres holds 1,700 animals of 250 different species, 33 of them endangered and threatened. But that’s not the only park in the Disney family taking part in the conservation effort. Epcot is also a big player when it comes to helping save the animals. If you’ve ever been to “The Seas,” Epcot’s ocean-themed area, you will get to see beautiful sea creatures including plenty of sea turtles. Epcot has rescued and nursed 200 sick sea turtles and often takes place in animal rescue efforts after hurricanes that affect the Florida area.

Both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Not only do cast members guide guests around these exhibits, Disney also employs veterinary teams, scientists and animal care teams that help take care of these animals. These teams are also the people you see telling you about the very creatures you’re taking pictures of when you visit Animal Kingdom and Epcot. If it weren’t for this great team, Bonsu, Nande and Hasani wouldn’t be where they are today and there would be plenty more animals still in danger. But thanks to the conservation efforts of the Walt Disney Company, we can worry a little less about baby Bonsu and other members of the animal world.


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