CARRYING FORWARD A CONSERVATION LEGACY - Although Disney was already involved in animal-related work through Discovery Island in Bay Lake and The Living Seas (now The Seaswith Nemo & Friends) at Epcot, Disneys Animal Kingdom was onan entirely different scale. To build their knowledge of animal-care facilities and habitats, Rohde and his handpicked Imagineering team attended meetings conducted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, sought advice from animal specialists, and hired a respected zoological curator as a consultant.As the experts weighed in, however, it became clear that much more was at stake than just the success of a theme park. Disney wielded global influence, and Animal Kingdom would be a statement to the world about wildlife and the challenges they faced; zoo and conservation leaders saw it as a unique opportunity to engage and educate millions of Guests visiting the resort each year, and Disney agreed. To that end, Imagineering invited an advisory board of top zoo, animal welfare, and conservation professionals to help formulate policy and offer guidance on design and development.The advisers helped Disney expand its commitment to conservation by developing a strategic approach to support threatened species in the wild. It was this simple idea that eventually led to the creation of the Disney Conservation Fund. Todayjust over twenty-five years laterthe Disney Conservation Fund has evolved to become a respected leader in international conservation, supporting field research, conservation education, and community engagement in120 countries. And now Disneys Animal Kingdom is not only a universally respected, state-of-the-art animal park and conservation laboratory, but with its engaging and persuasive advocacy on behalf of all wildlife, it is also a model of entertainment in the service of education and nature.pages3233 :A family explores PandoraThe World of Avatar, at Disneys Animal Kingdom.