Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom News: March 21, 2018: Dino Duck

Easter Week: Big crowds are back. This coming weekend begins the Easter season. As you can see by the hours below, the park will remain open late, as 11 pm is the latest we have seen in awhile.

Donald's Dino Bash: The new Dinoland dance party now has a start date. Beginning on May 25th, Donald. Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and other feathered characters will be on hand to meet guests. There will also be dance music for the shindig.

Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday March 22 8 am - 9:30 pm
Friday March 23 8 am - 9:30 pm
Saturday March 24 8 am- 10 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  March 25 8 am- 11 pm
Monday March 26  8 am- 11 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday March 27 8 am- 11 pm 
Wednesday March 28 8 am- 11 pm

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Safari Mike's Planet Watch - Rhinos

Safari Mikes is back with another Planet Watch episode, this time he talks about rhinos and the challenges they face for survival!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom News for March 14, 2018: Tiffins Talks

Tiffins Talks: Tickets are now available for this special event honoring the park's 20th anniversary. Imagineers and other important people to the park will give talks while you enjoy a meal at the signature restaurant. This includes Joe Rohde on April 25th. Dr. Anne Savage, the Conservation Manager and one time guest on Radio Harambe is also scheduled to give a talk on May 2nd. The event costs $165 per person and naturally includes food and beverages.

New Costumes: One of the ways Disney is celebrating the park's landmark anniversary is with new cast member costumes. You should begin to see them around the time of the actual anniversary date, April 22nd. The initial wave of changes centers around the various locations at the Oasis and Discovery Island. Additional changes will happen in the coming months.

Park Hours for this week are...
Thursday March 15 8 am - 10 pm
Friday March 16 8 am - 10 pm
Saturday March 17 8 am- 10 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Sunday  March 18 8 am- 9:30 pm
Monday March 19  8 am- 9:30 pm  Extra Magic Hour in the morning
Tuesday March 20 8 am- 9:30 pm 
Wednesday March 21 8 am- 8:30 pm

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Episode 130 of Radio Harambe - Top Ten Sounds at Disney's Animal Kingdom

We all know by now that Safari Mike likes to make lists, so today he presents his Top Ten Uses of Sounds at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Sounds a bit random we know, but it's also lots of fun. Asante Sana and enjoy the show!

Friday, March 2, 2018

World Wildlife Day 

It is World Wildlife Day. And this year the focus is on big cats. As we all know, Disney's Animal Kingdom has a few. Sumatran Tigers at the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Lions and cheetahs on the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Maharajah Jungle Trek 
Big cats are some of the most popular zoo animals there are, especially the iconic lions and tigers. At the Animal Kingdom, the recent birth of tiger cubs has sparked a lot of press and social media photographs. And we often hear from the guests about being on the safari, just as the male lion roars. The fact it happens more often at night often makes that a highlight of the evening tour.

Snow Leopard at Central Park Zoo
Despite their popularity from the public at large, big cats are in trouble across the globe. As I am sure you know, when you have a beautiful coat like the snow leopard above or the rare (and my favorite) clouded leopard below, the fur industry and poaching are prime enemies. These skins are used not just for clothing, but rugs and other furnishings as well.

Clouded Leopard at Zoo Atlanta
Other parts, such as bones, teeth and claws, are also sold illegally around the globe. The biggest markets are in Asia, particularly in China, Vietnam and Myanmar. In some cases these are used for jewelry and in other instances, the products are used in traditional medicine. Regardless of the end use, poaching is a big problem for all big cats and the market is mostly generated from that part of the world.

Lion pride at the Cincinnati Zoo
Recently, China has taken some major steps to halt the traffic of ivory in its country. This should go a long way in protecting elephants. However, China has not taken a similar course for the trade in illegal cat parts. Days like today can help put the pressure on that government.

Siberian Tigers at the Bronx Zoo 
There are also conflicts with local landowners. This is true for example with the cheetah in Africa. Groups like the Cheetah Conservation Fund, have been working with local farmers for years. Livestock guarding dogs are trained and provided to the farmers. Wild cheetahs, instead of going after sheep and goats, avoid those herds. Farmers no longer feel the need to kill cheetahs on sight to protect their livelihood. A win for both farmers and cheetahs. Similarly, the Snow Leopard Trust is providing farmers with livestock insurance for the rare instance of a snow leopard kill. They are also providing local farmers with the tools to avoid depredation.

Cheetah in Africa photo by Aruna Mohan
The goal is, of course, to protect these beautiful animals for future generations as well as protecting their natural habitat. And Disney's Animal Kingdom through their Conservation Fund as well as the work they do in captive breeding is doing their part.