Disney’s Animal Kingdom is known for being a zoological theme park that is entirely dedicated and themed around the concept of animal conservation and the preservation of our natural environment. With more species in China becoming threatened due to changing climate and a growing market demand, bringing the Born in China Blu-ray and DVD release party to Disney’s Animal Kingdom was the best choice. Born in China will come out on Blu-ray and DVD on August 29, 2017.
Screen Rant got a chance to talk with conservation director, Dr. Anne Savage, where we discussed what species of animals reside in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, how Disney brought these animals to the park for conservation, and what she recommends guests visit while they are at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Hey, guys! This is Joe with Screen Rant. We are here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park for the Born in China release on Blu-ray and DVD. How are you today?
Dr. Anne Savage: I’m doing great.
Dr. Anne is here with me.
Dr. Anne Savage: You bet! And are you loving this day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
I love animals in general. Yes, absolutely! I am enjoying this day. Tell me what you do here.
Dr. Anne Savage: So I’m the conservation director and I have the best job at Walt Disney World because I get to lead our efforts to help protect the animals around the world.
That’s amazing. How many different species of animals are here in this park?
Dr. Anne Savage: We have got hundreds of species of animals and we are working to not only inspire all of our guests who get a chance to visit and see these amazing animals, but really make a difference when it comes to reversing the decline of animals in the wild.
You know, for idiots like me, what’s the one word of advice that you would give to somebody about seeing an animal in the wild?
Dr. Anne Savage: Here’s the thing. You want to be really respecting when you are viewing animals in the wild and making sure that your behavior doesn’t impact what they are doing, right? So you don’t want to scare them away, right? But I think the other thing is when you have this opportunity to view nature for me whenever I see these beautiful animals, I think about what I can do to help insure that they have got a future in the wild.
Interesting. Now how does Disney and the Animal Kingdom find the animals they bring to the conservation?
Dr. Anne Savage: So the majority of our animals were born here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which is really fine. And what’s really great is to watch our babies grow up, which is just amazing and I’ve been here for twenty years so for me, getting to see some of our younger animals grow up into adults and become parents themselves, has been super cool.
How many new species do you add every single year?
Dr. Anne Savage: Well, you know, it really depends. Each year it changes but, for example, if you go on our Kilimanjaro Safaris…
Which I will be…
Dr. Anne Savage: Which you will be, you will get to see some really cool additions to the park. So, for example, you will get to see our African wild dogs and some of our hyenas, which are really amazing. So what’s cool about the safari is that you can experience it during the day and then also ride it again at night for a completely different experience viewing animals at night in a sunset type of experience.
Do we get any different animals that come out during the night because they are nocturnal creatures?
Dr. Anne Savage: Well, we can never really predict what you are going to see because these are wild animals and they have the opportunity to move all around. So what I say is go on frequently because you never know. There’s always a new surprise around every corner.
Now it seems like the ever growing list of the endangered species is obviously growing. What can people do to help preserve some of these great creatures?
Dr. Anne Savage: So one of the things is actually help Disney work to save these animals. Through the Disney Conservation Funds, guests can actually contribute and join us in helping to protect wildlife around the world. So we’ve given away over 65 million dollars to help protect wildlife and to engage kids and family with nature so we can create the next generation of people who want to help save the world.
What’s the most rare species that you have in this park?
Dr. Anne Savage: Wow. It really depends a lot on some of the species. I can tell you though that we have got the little Cotton-top Tamarin, which are only 7000 left in the wild, which is really really tiring. And, of course, we have got our African Elephants, which are really threatened by poaching and some conflict. So when you think about a lot of our African species, these are animals that are really facing a lot of challenges in the wild, but we are working to help turn that around and give wildlife a great future.
That’s amazing. And also, in the film, we followed a panda and snow leopards and other things. Are those creatures here?
Dr. Anne Savage: We don’t have those animals here at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but we are working to help save these animals that are in the wild. We’ve worked with World Wildlife Fund to help protect about 495,000 acres of land for pandas and for snow leopards.
Now I’m sure that all of these animals are like babies of yours, but what’s your favorite part of the Animal Kingdom?
Dr. Anne Savage: Oh my gosh. There’s so many great parts to the Animal Kingdom. I have to say for an experience, I love going on Kilimanjaro Safari.
It never gets old.
Dr. Anne Savage: It never gets old because it’s different every time you go, but it’s also fun to just sort of walk around our park and check out some of those the nooks and crannies that people don’t necessarily always go to because there’s lots of hidden surprises and a few really cool animals around those areas.
Now I was here last night and it seems like this park is a completely different thing at night than it is during the day so, no matter what time you come, it’s always changing. Is that something that you guys had in mind?
Dr. Anne Savage: Absolutely. We want the park to be a continuous experience for our guests whether you arrive first thing in the morning or you’re here at the end of the night because that’s what nature is all about. It’s never the same. It’s always changing.
Born in China hits Blu-ray August 29, 2017.