Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating a big milestone in their “Connect to Protect” program. Visitors to Pandora – The World of Avatar have unlocked the first contribution of $100,000 from the Disney Parks by participating in adventures and casting their votes.
Visitors to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Pandora take part in numerous conservation-themed ‘missions’ that connect them with the local animal and plant life on Pandora via Facebook Messenger. These missions are facilitated by one of the moon’s digital ecological specialists, Fitsimti “Fits” Buckley.
By completing one or more missions, each guest unlocks a $10 contribution to be made through the Disney Conservation Fund, or a $5 contribution just for discussing conservation with Fitsimti. Those guests will then get to choose how the contribution (of up to $100,000 per animal) will help protect or restore habitats important to one of 10 threatened categories of animals: apes, elephants, butterflies, coral reefs, cranes, monkeys, rhinos, sea turtles, sharks/rays, and tigers.
Each animal can receive up to $100,000 for a total commitment of $1 million from Disney Parks to protect and restore the habitats critical for their survival. This first donation will help protect habitats for elephants in Kenya.
With an estimated 96 elephants lost each day due to threats like habitat loss and poaching, our efforts are more important than ever. This $100,000 grant will provide critical support to the Wildlife Conservation Society to restore forest habitat and create wildlife corridors, enabling elephants to safely move throughout their range in East Africa.
In 2016, the Disney Conservation Fund announced a new initiative called “Reverse the Decline, Increase the Time,” aimed at reversing the decline of at-risk wildlife through scientific research, community collaboration, and increasing the time kids spend in nature to inspire them to care for the planet. The Fund is supporting leading nonprofit organizations that are working to protect threatened wildlife and inspire a lifelong love for nature in young people. In addition to funding, the initiative is also providing opportunities for Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment team to apply the expertise and talents of its cast members and employees to help threatened animals.
The Reverse the Decline organizations supported by the Disney Conservation Fund that will receive the contributions from the Connect to Protect program are:
- International Crane Foundation (Cranes)
- International Rhino Foundation (Rhinos)
- Save the Golden Lion Tamarin and Wildlife Conservation Network/Proyecto Tití (Monkeys)
- Perry Institute for Marine Science (Coral Reefs)
- The Jane Goodall Institute (Apes)
- University of Florida Foundation (Sea Turtles and Butterflies)
- Wildlife Conservation Society (Elephants, Sharks/Rays, and Tigers)
Will you be taking part in the “Connect to Protect” program during your next Animal Kingdom visit? Which animal will you choose for your contribution?
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Source Credit: Disney Parks Blog