By Scott Terrell, DVM, DACVP, Director of Animal & Science Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Have you had a chance to see the first episode of “Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom” on Disney+? “I hope so, because Episode 2 is now streaming and is chock-full of animal adventures, ranging from providing post-natal care to stingray Darby and her pup Hilo at The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT, to a surprise birthday party for Gino, a silverback gorilla at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
What I really appreciate about this episode is how it shows the special bonds our animal care team has with the animals in our care. Our keepers know each individual animal’s name, can tell you all about their favorite foods, and quickly share endless stories about their quirks and habits. They nurture these precious relationships by observing, feeding and training more than 300 species while providing round-the-clock care to ensure the animals’ health, as well as backstage and onstage environments, are in tip-top shape.
The connections they make are crucial to establish the trust needed to have these animals participate in their own healthcare.
I don’t want to give any spoilers for this new episode, but I think you’re going to be truly amazed by breathtaking examples of the team’s labor of love. One of my favorite parts of this episode is watching our primate team throw a birthday party for Gino, the beloved silverback western lowland gorilla from our family troop. I think this party was just as much fun for them as it was for the birthday boy. Here’s a sneak peek:
Hungry for more? Take a deep dive into the world of caring for aquatic animals with this week’s family-friendly activity page, available now through Disney Conservation. And you can find even more behind-the-scenes content from our animal keepers when you follow @drmarkatdisney on Instagram and @DisneyASE on Facebook.