Disney Fits White Rhinoceros With Fitness Tracker at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney has put a fitness tracker on a white rhinoceros at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The rhino in question is Helen, who can be found on the Kilimanjaro Safaris savanna at the Walt Disney World Resort theme park.

Helen has been given this fitness tracker so that the Animal, Science and Environment team will be able to understand what the role of physical fitness is in the overall health of rhinos. This is part of a larger, collaborative research project with rhinos that is happening with accredited zoos and wildlife centers from around the United States.

Scott Terrell, DVM, DACVP, Director of Animal & Science Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, shared on the Disney Parks Blog about the project. Terrell said, “These activity trackers will help us better understand the activity levels of the rhinos in our care throughout the day and when they settle in for the evening. Because of the built-in accelerometer, we can track the distance they cover running and walking around the savanna. We also can better track their sleeping and napping schedules.”

Terrell continued saying, “And with the built-in GPS unit, this activity tracker allows us to see where on the savanna the rhinos like to spend their time. This enables us to understand which features in the habitat are most popular to them, and we can better determine which factors, like wallows, sun and shade, impact the areas they use.”

Programs like that for the white rhinos at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have become increasingly important for the survival of the species. This is due to the illegal poaching that continues to happen in the wild. Once this is project is complete, the research will be compiled and then shared with animal care professionals at 74 AZA-accredited facilities. This will help rhinos get the best care for generations to come.

What do you think of Helen being a part of this program and receiving a fitness tracker? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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