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Disney’s Science Team Uses 3D Printing to Help Animals

Conservation Station
Credit: Disney

An important initiative for Disney has always been animals. Reaching back to when Walt Disney was still alive, he was fascinated by various creatures. His interest led to attractions like Jungle Cruise, which would initially feature live animals, although Disney quickly realized that would not work out. Since Disney World’s creation, Animal Kingdom came soon after with the strong initiative to protect and nurture animals.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are many ways to get involved with animals and learn more about different species. Animal Kingdom’s Kilajamaro Safari is an attraction that takes Guests through different lands while animals roam free in their preserved habitats. Furthermore, Disney does so many things behind the scenes that Guests do not get to view while visiting the Park. Disney’s Science Team is behind many of these initiatives while they study and create ways to give animals a happy, healthy life at Disney.

Conservation Station

Credit: Disney

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On Disney’s Instagram, researcher Jose takes us fans inside the science center at the conservation station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch to learn more about their current projects.

Disney’s Science Team

Researcher Jose is a behavioral husbandry technician on the science team. As a part of his role, he works with 3D printing on a variety of projects to help animals. He says a cool aspect is that “Whatever we can imagine, we can create and put into reality”. Jose shows various foregoing devices that are dependent on species. He uses the example of a flosser for a gorilla or a hide for a tarantula as two of the many animals he’s worked with.

At the science center, Jose is also joined by endocrinologists and behaviorists as they study the animals and ensure they are healthy, which is a part of the Animal Enrichment Program. “Much like humans counting their daily steps, the science team is analyzing rhino physical activity using a custom-made fitness tracker,” Dr. Mark Penning writes.

Conservation Station

Credit: Disney

All parts of their science team work together with the same goal in mind, to help the animals. They are housed at the science center at Conservation Station, where Guests can go over and check out what they are working on.

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Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch

Located in Animal Kingdom, Guests can get to Conservation Station after taking a short train ride over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Here, Guests can “Get an in-depth look at animal habitats around the globe and see the expert veterinary care our animals receive” Disney details. In addition to the Science Center, there is the Veterinary Treatment Room, Nutrition Center, and Amphibian, Reptile, and Invertebrate Windows.

Conservation Station

Credit: Disney

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This is a must-visit for all animal lovers while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.