LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 17, 2007 – A team from Operation Migration (OM) recently visited Walt Disney World to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Operation Migration displayed one of their ultralight planes and hosted a booth featuring pictorial panels illustrating both OM’s history and the whooping crane story.
Each year since 2001, as part of a landmark reintroduction effort, Operation Migration’s pilots have led a cohort of captive-hatched cranes imprinted to follow their surrogate parent (Operation Migration’s ultralight aircraft) along an ancient crane migration route between Wisconsin and Florida.
The project has a solid and lengthy connection to Central Florida. The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF) has helped support the program since before the first whooping crane chick was hatched six years ago, and has provided more than $118,000 to support Operation Migration. Walt Disney World Cast Members have also been a part of this program, volunteering to build safe holding pens at the cranes’ Florida wintering site for the past two years. In fact, experts from Disney’s Animal Programs veterinary team provide crane check ups and monitor the health of the birds while they are in Florida.
The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
Established in 1995 as a global awards program for the study and protection of the world’s wildlife and ecosystems, The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF) provides annual awards to U.S. nonprofit conservation organizations. Since its inception, the fund has contributed more than $10 million, distributed among 550 projects in more than 105 countries.
Whether they swim, fly, crawl, slither or hop, endangered animals are the focus of the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. Through awards from its Fund, Disney helps ensure the survival of wildlife and wild places in all their beauty and diversity.
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