Monday, 2 August 2010

Sea Turtles Arrive for Care at Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Programs research scientist and veterinarian

Eight turtles injured by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have begun their rehabilitation at Walt Disney World Resort under the care of our animal experts.

Late last week, Disney’s Animal Programs research scientist and veterinarian Dr. Andy Stamper transported the six endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles — among the most endangered species of sea turtles in the world — and two green sea turtles from the Florida Panhandle to our facilities here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Engineers and water science expert have converted a backstage area into a temporary rehabilitation facility – setting up salt-water pools capable of housing up to 35 sea turtles.

Oil can have a devastating effect on the health of sea turtles, birds and other marine wildlife. Over the next several months, many of these animals will require intense medical treatment. We will provide top-notch medical care wherever we can – whether it’s on a beach or in a state-of-the-art veterinary facility. Ultimately, our goal is to re-release these animals so they can once again thrive in the wild.

These efforts are part of our company’s coordinated approach to assisting with wildlife rescue efforts in the Gulf. Earlier this summer, we began care for seven Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles diagnosed with pneumonia. The turtles were moved here from facilities in Mississippi to make room for animals injured by the oil spill. Our Disney animal care team stands ready to send more help to the Panhandle as needed and our licensed rehabilitation facilities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends are available for treating additional turtles and birds impacted by the spill.

Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF), supported by Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green, has also donated $100,000 to help with environmental and animal rescue efforts, including $50,000 to The National Audubon Society for their response in the Gulf and $50,000 in grants to various grassroots organizations assisting with the cleanup.

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