PHOTOS: Disney's Animal Kingdom Takes Rhino Care One Step Further By Tracking Their Activity Levels

Wearable fitness trackers are now used by many people around the world. From watches on your wrist to apps on your phone, it’s simple and convenient to see how much ground you’ve covered throughout the day between visits to your favorite attractions, restaurants, and shows.

But did you ever think that technology would one day find a home on the savanna and play a role in conservation? At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, there’s a new species “horning in” on this fitness craze... rhinos!

Guests aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris may notice some of the rhinos – along with rhinos at select accredited institutions around the U.S. – are sporting an activity tracker very similar to the popular fitness trackers many of us have worn to track our daily steps and activity, but on a much larger scale!

These activity trackers will help Disney better understand the activity levels of the rhinos in the park's care throughout the day and when they settle in for the evening. Because of the built-in accelerometer, they can track the distance they cover running and walking around the savanna. They are also able to better track their sleeping and napping schedules.

And with the built-in GPS unit, this activity tracker allows Cast Members to see where on the savanna the rhinos like to spend their time. This enables them to understand which features in the habitat are most popular to them and better determine which factors (like wallows, sun, and shade) impact the areas they use.

These efforts to better understand the role of physical fitness in the overall health of rhinos are one part of a larger, collaborative research project with rhinos from accredited zoos and wildlife centers across the U.S. When combined with other data from veterinarians, scientists and animal care specialists, this information on physical fitness will help all animal care experts better understand how different habitats play a role in rhino health.

Managed rhino populations are becoming increasingly important for the survival of the species due to illegal poaching in the wild. Once complete, this research will be compiled and shared with animal care professionals at 74 AZA-accredited facilities, helping ensure rhinos receive the best care for many generations to come!

Looking to plan and book an Orlando-area vacation? Contact Destinations with Character Travel Services, LLC., specialists in all things Orlando, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld! Destinations with Characters is a Disney EarMarked agency and the official travel agency of Orlando Theme Park News!

PHOTOs: © Walt Disney World Resort. All Rights Reserved.

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