***Disclosure: I attended #DisneynatureBears Event My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney, ABC, and myself. All opinions are 100% mine. ***
I love a good Zoo experience and had an amazing time at the Los Angeles Zoo last month for the #DisneynatureBear Event. We enjoyed a private Tour of the LA Zoo where I saw Bears, Dolly in the California Condor Rescue Zone and Keeper Talks, Chimpanzees, Okapi, Rhinos, Giant Otters and much more! Our visit started with a special BEARS plush gift:
These BEARS plush are super special! The Disney Store will contribute $1 to the NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION for every BEARS plush purchased between now and 5/11/14. Get yours at
http://www.disneystore.com/disneynature-bears-plush-amber-medium-16/mp/1352895/1000267/ and http://www.disneystore.com/disneynature-bears-plush-scout-medium-16/mp/1352793/1000267/.
About Dolly The Condor and The Condors Struggle
We met the beautiful Dolly and learned about the Condor struggle. To educate everyone here is some more info:
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens has housed California condors since 1967, when the now legendary Topa-topa came to the Zoo as a malnourished fledgling rescued from the wild. In 1981, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Fish and Game Commission agreed to a captive breeding program for the species, which had dwindled to just 22 individuals. The following year, the L.A. Zoo received its first fledgling since Topa-topa, marking the launch of the California Condor Recovery Program (CCRP). Over the years, the Zoo’s role in this collaborative program has evolved from a focus on building a captive breeding population to one of monitoring and maintaining the populations of wild birds that have been re-established in California. On October 11, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill (A.B. 711) that will mandate the phasing out of lead ammunition by 2019—a landmark decision that may dramatically change the future for these remarkable birds.
Dolly hatched in Pinnacles National Park from an egg previously laid at the Oregon Zoo condor facility and transferred to the wild by L.A. Zoo staff. She was raised by the wild parents, and developed normally until just after her four-month check-up, when the team noticed that she was not using her right wing. Radiographs confirmed that she had suffered a fracture. Zoo veterinarian Dr. Stephen Klause performed two surgeries to repair the damage, however, due to the location of the injury, it was determined that Dolly would never be able to fly. This put the staff in a difficult situation. Clearly, she could not return to the wild. But it would be almost as difficult to integrate her into a captive breeding group. If she climbed too high on the perching provided, she might try to fly down, further injuring herself. Also, condors can sometimes be aggressive in their social interactions and she would not be able to escape. So Dolly’s fate was decided. She is a compelling ambassador, drawing people in with her regal presence and crafty demeanor, but it’s a dynamic role that requires constant attention and reinforcement. In the process, staff who work with her are gaining valuable insights about Dolly, and about her species.
American Black Bear
Since we were celebrating the upcoming release of Disneynature’s BEARS out in theaters on April 18, we spent some time with the American Black Bears. At first they were hiding from us, but after a bit they came over to wave.
American black bears are the smallest and most prevalent of the bears native to North America. American black bears consume large amounts of food during the summer and fall, but they aren’t “true” hibernators because their body temperatures don’t drop dramatically, and they are still relatively alert. However, black bears still don’t eat, drink, or excrete waste during this time. American black bears are listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Also, female American black bears have a strong maternal instinct, and they spend most of their lives preparing to have cubs and raising their cubs.
DISNEYNATURE BEARS OUT ON April 18
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska! Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), and narrated by John C. Reilly, “Bears” arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.
Make sure you enter to WIN a beautiful Alex Woo pendant made especially for BEARS!