Mar 23, 2011

Animal Kingdom

I always loved the month of March, not because it is the beginning of spring, but because it includes my birthday as well as spring break. To celebrate these happy occasions we decided to go to Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time last weekend.

My previous job required a lot of travelling. After all, I went to several Safaris, fed baby lions and saw the Big Five in Kenya and South Africa, so I thought it would not be as exciting; I have to admit I was wrong. It is full of attractions, adventures and entertainment that reflected Disney's dedication to nature,conservation, animal care, education, and research. It's home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species and spreads across 500 acres of lush landscape, and in fact it's the largest animal-themed park in the world. The park is divided into seven areas: Oasis, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Asia, Dinoland and my favorite Rafiki's Planet Watch.

The reason I liked Rafiki's Planet Watch the most is that it included attractions like Affection Section where you can pet animals, and Conservation Station where they give you a fun and educational behind-the-scenes look at the animals in the park. There're many things I learnt and like to share with you on Disney's inspiring conservation efforts. As an illustration, Disney's Friends for Change: Project Green encourages kids help the planet through simple actions they can make in their everyday lives. Disney is saving habitats through large-scale efforts to preserve and restore ecosystems, resulting in thousands of acres protected and 3 million trees planted in the Amazon, the Congo and the U.S.; this will help benefit the climate and protect the environment.

Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund is supporting programs and people, making a difference by providing community and non-governmental organizations with 14 million dollars in grants since 1995; it has a positive impact on local species, communities and the ecosystem. Their efforts include promoting habitat conservation and working with the scientific communities to preserve the Earth's biodiversity. Accordingly, among other achievements, their work lead to the discovery of 2 new species: a butterfly in Myanmar and a tree frog in Nicaragua.
Seeing the conservation station and learning about their research and protection efforts helped me see that as individuals there are certain things we can do to make a difference like:
  • telling others about the value of wildlife and ecosystems
  • learning more about conservation issues
  • purchasing products that are eco-friendly and sustainable
  • creating habitats for wildlife in your backyard
  • planting fruit and vegetable gardens
  • reducing, recycling, and reusing
  • choosing your pets carefully
  • supporting conservation by volunteering or donating

In short, we don't have to be a multibillion dollar company to make a difference in the world that we live in. A very fun day at a theme park made me realize that there is always new information to be learnt about the environment and how to protect it. I'm trying to make a difference by sharing what I learnt, I hope you do the same and spread the word.

To learn more about how you can help save the environment and its habitats visit:
Cotton-top Tamarins
African Elephant Research at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Green Sea Turtles Satallite Tracking

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