It was a conservation celebration as the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) recently recognized the important contributions of wildlife heroes around the globe. Ever the advocate for “respecting, protecting and preserving our natural resources and wildlife,” DCF granted more than $5 million to 76 wildlife-nurturing organizations [PDF link], including the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Greening Australia, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and recognized 13 Disney Conservation Hero award recipients.

Award recipient highlights:

  • Pablo Bordino was recognized posthumously for his dedication to the conservation of dolphins and their habitat in his community.
  • The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is home to approximately 1,800 animals – including bears, big cats, apes and elephants – but prides itself mostly on their crowd-drawing pandas. Only 3 other American zoos – Atlanta, Memphis, and San Diego – boast resident pandas.
  • International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and its partners to save Critically Endangered Sumatran rhinos from extinction in Indonesia. Today, there are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild. IRF is addressing threats to this species, working with communities to ensure these rhinos and their habitats are protected.
  • Greening Australia delights in further inspiring “the protection of Tasmania’s threatened native mammals” thanks to the grant. The funds will support the Tasmanian Island Ark Bushrangers Program, an initiative designed to drive sustainable actions to reverse the decline of threatened wildlife.

This program compliments Disney’s “Reverse the Decline” initiative, which was part of an $8 million support effort earlier this year. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums reciprocally recognizes DCF for its global conservation work and continues to be an accredited partner for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and The Seas at Epcot.

“The Walt Disney Company has a rich history of respecting, protecting and preserving our natural resources and wildlife; as such, we are proud to award these latest grants to people and organizations around the world that share our mission,” said Elissa Margolis, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company. “Our donation directly supports efforts to save animals and habitats in critical ecosystems across the globe and inspires others to do the same.”

Since 1995, DCF has contributed more than $75 million to wildlife and planet protection. Funding is generously provided by The Walt Disney Company and by Park and Resort location guests. To read more about DCF’s philanthropic mission, click here.

Author

Jess is an Aussie, an attorney and a die-hard Disney fan. She grew up in a city not too far from P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney; and she still enjoys running around in Snow White pajamas and serenading her family members with Sleeping Beauty’s “Once Upon A Dream” (though, unlike Princess Aurora, she is not blessed with the gift of song). She recently became an Honorary Princess of the Magic Kingdom after her Flynn-Rider lookalike fiancé proposed at Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Dinner at the Grand Floridian Resort. Jess is an Elvis-lover like Lilo, and is otherwise singing along to her Frozen, Moana and Coco soundtracks (anyone listening will wish Ursula would pay her a voice-taking visit). When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, Jess delights in writing for The Disney Blog and sharing with fellow fans all things Disney.