Over the years, Disney has done a lot of work in the conservation world to help animals that are endangered or at risk of becoming endangered. Disney has worked — and is continuing to work — to help save animals like butterflies, sea turtles, zebras, silverback gorillas, rhinoceroses, and more. They also help the state of Florida with things like rehabilitating injured manatees.
Disney has entire teams dedicated to helping these animals and taking care of them through all stages of their lives. People like Dr. Mark Penning — Vice President, Disney’s Animals, Science & Environment — monitor and love the animals from the time they are born. While Disney is one of the safest places in the world for them, these are wild animals and, unfortunately, sometimes tragic things can happen.
On Thursday, April 14, a family was visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Animal Kingdom Lodge has its own small savanna where animals like zebras and giraffes are free to roam. There are also ostriches. According to the family, one of the ostriches chased a young zebra. The zebra tried to run away from the ostrich and ended up running full speed into a fence. Sadly, the baby zebra was fatally injured, although the family did report that Disney Cast Members did everything they could to try to save it.
A video of Cast Members working to try to save the zebra was shared with WESH News by Guests who were standing at a distance to give everyone space.
Disney has not announced which zebra it was that died at Animal Kingdom Lodge. In October, Dr. Penning reported that a Hartmann’s mountain zebra named Zarina was born at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is the last report we have of a baby zebra being born at the Walt Disney World Resort. Witnesses say that the Cast Members were absolutely shattered by the death, with some of them noticeably crying.
Walt Disney World Cast Members love taking care of these animals as much as Guests love being able to see them up close and in person. Having such a terrible accident occur in such an unexpected way must have been incredibly shocking. Sometimes it is easy to forget that these are wild animals and that anything can happen at any time.