On April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day, a time to reflect on our carbon footprint, mediate over nature, and take action to persevere our quickly dwindling natural world. Earth Day also holds a very special place in the hearts of Disneyphiles as it is the anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park! Celebrating it’s 18th anniversary this year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is much more than a half day park to observe animals. As the original unofficial park motto stated in 1998, “it’s not a zoo.” In fact, Animal Kingdom is an absolutely uniquely detailed Imagineered zoological park hybrid serving up a loud message of conservation while offering the Disney gold standard of entertainment. I have loved this park since the moment I set foot upon it’s hot asphalt in 2001 and despite visiting the lush landscaping well over 30 times there is still so much to discover. Not only do details and backstories abound but each animal has its own story of life, and most importantly, conservation.
For this week’s quiz we are venturing to one of the “e-ticket” attractions, Kilimanjaro Safaris. Located in Animal Kingdom’s Africa area, Kilimanjaro Safaris finds its home in Harambe (swahili for working together), an Imagineeered east-coast African fishing village. Like many nature reserves found throughout Africa, Kilimanjaro Safaris plays an important role in Harambe’s backstory and evolution. The story goes that the area currently known as Kilimanjaro Safaris once was a game (hunting) reserve. However, around the 1970’s the town’s people made the decision to focus on animal conservation. The community turned the hunting reserve into a preservation zone, and now instead of offering hunting safaris, only offers photo safaris. The preservation reserve was named Harambe Wildlife Reserve in honor of the people who brought about the park’s change.
Now, let’s explore the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and live the Kilimanjaro Safaris company’s motto – “When it comes to safaris, we go WILD!”
1. Kilimanjaro Safaris offers the chance to see an amazing array of animal species. About how many different wildlife species call the Harambe Wildlife Reserve home?
2. How many African ecosystems are represented in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve?
3. How many acres is the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction?
4. True or False: Animals are separated by wire fences that are visible to guests.
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