Nature Conservation

HELPING ELEPHANTS, BEES AND HUMANS LIVE TOGETHER

Nature Conservation
Humans and animals sometimes come in conflict when living in a shared ecosystem. Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) grantee Save the Elephants, a DWCF beneficiary since 2007, has discovered an innovative way for elephants and humans to coexist.

In Kenya, human expansion into elephant territory has increased human-wildlife conflict as elephants raid farms that are a critical food supply for local families. Scientists from Save the Elephants – working with Disney's Animal Kingdom scientist, Joseph Soltis, Ph.D. – discovered that elephants naturally fear bees and a fence of beehives can be the perfect solution. With the support of DWCF, Save the Elephants taught locals how to cultivate bees, which deter elephants from the crops and provide an additional source of income through honey production.

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DISNEYNATURE'S OCEANS SCORES BIG FOR THE WORLD'S CORAL REEFS

Nature Conservation
Released on Earth Day 2010, Disneynature's second film, Oceans, achieved critical and box office success in North America. It was the #1 film on opening day (Thursday, April 22, 2010), the 2nd highest opening weekend gross for a nature film behind Disneynature's Earth, and the 3rd highest grossing feature length nature film in history.

Along with providing a spectacular in-depth look at our world beneath the waves, Disneynature Oceans is helping to conserve more than 35,000 acres of coral reef in the Bahamas on behalf of moviegoers who went to see the film during its opening week. Through a program titled "See OCEANS, Save Oceans," Disneynature donated a portion of each movie ticket sold to The Nature Conservancy through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, to establish new marine protected areas in the Bahamas, supporting the expansion of the Westside National Park of Andros. At 55 square miles, this protected area of coral reefs will be almost two-and-a-half times the size of Manhattan or the equivalent of more than 412 Disneylands.

The 700 islands that comprise the Bahamas contain miles of vital coral reefs, which are the foundation of a healthy ocean environment, providing shelter, nurseries and feeding grounds for hundreds of marine species, including dolphins, sea turtles and a wide range of fish. Scientists estimate that the coral reefs of the Caribbean could be gone in 50 years without a network of well-managed marine protected areas.

A portion of every Disneynature Oceans Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD purchased during its first week of release was also donated to the same initiative. After adding the theatrical and Blu-ray/DVD efforts together, combined with efforts by the Disney Stores and Disney Friends for Change: Project Green to support the cause, we were able to expand the marine protected area around Andros Island to a total of 40,000 acres, all made possible through the public's support of Disneynature.

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DISNEY'S ANIMAL PROGRAMS TEAM RESCUES SEA TURTLES

Nature Conservation
The team at Disney Animal Programs provides magical experiences for our guests every day at Disney's Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. They also help support the rescue and rehabilitation of hundreds of injured and orphaned animals every year.

Disney Animal Programs is often called upon to help distressed animals. In 2010, Disney's conservation and animal professionals, as well as other cast members at Walt Disney World Resort, twice provided aid to threatened sea turtle populations.

In January, Disney assisted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in rescuing sea turtles impacted by record cold temperatures. Cast members logged more than 10,000 miles throughout the state carrying more than 500 rescued turtles to rehabilitation centers. Disney veterinarians and hospital staff worked alongside other surgeons and technicians performing delicate surgeries, and Walt Disney World Resort took in critically injured turtles for long-term care.

A few months later, Disney jumped into action again, converting a space at Disney's Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot into a temporary rehabilitation facility for 68 sea turtles injured by the Gulf Coast oil spill. Most of these turtles have been released back to their home in the sea. Others are on the road to recovery.

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