Disney celebrates its “natural” janitors!



Vulture (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Vulture (credit: The Walt Disney Company)

Disney News: International Vulture Awareness Day at Animal Kingdom

Disney plays an important role in conservation and education, as much as it does in entertainment! So for International Vulture Awareness Day, they have removed some of the creepiness attached to this endangered species by allowing guests to try on replicas of a vulture wing, create a vulture mask and even do a meet and greet! Although vultures aren’t as regal as other birds of prey, they are considered janitors of the environment and it’s their scavenging that plays a role in maintaining a balanced eco-system and keeping the earth cleaner and disease-free.

Where to see a vulture

You can see three different species of vultures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom Lodge:

  • Lappet-faced vultures: these birds lack a strong sense of smell
  • Black vultures: with a five foot wingspan, this species is “smaller” in comparison
  • Ruppel’s griffon vulture: these have a winspan of eight feet – over the past twenty years, their population of this highly social bird has declined.

 Conservation at Disney

Along with the Disney Conservation Fund, the Animal Programs Team makes efforts to increase the population. In January 2009, it was the first time that Ruppell’s Griffon hatchings were born at Disney World. Ruppell’s are one of the highest flying birds have been recorded at an altitude of more than 37, 000 feet in. Within six minutes, they can fly over three miles and can stay in the air for up to seven hours a day.

Tell us…

Do you like vultures or find them creepy?