Lately, the Conservation Education Presenter Internship has had more of a focus on Animal Positions, which is a lot of fun! There’s more of a variety of animals to talk about and various conservation messages that we are able to connect to Guests with. More Animal Positions means more animal facts to remember, and the Animal Kingdom Mystery pins are a bit of help on the subject. There are 15 available to collect, and each mystery box (which is about $12.95 if I remember correctly) comes with 2 pins, with part of the proceeds donated to Disney’s World Wildlife Fund. Even more exciting is the fact that they connect with many of the positions we staff as Presenters.
One of the really neat parts of being a presenter is standing at the front of Animal Kingdom with bug boxes every morning. It depends on what the Herpotology/Invertebrate Team brings down for us, but there’s always an assortment of critters. Tarantulas, scorpions, dung beetles, spiders, grasshoppers, vinegaroons, millipedes, cockroaches, African bull frogs, and snakes all make the list. The mystery pin collection highlights this position with Stitch…
The pin shows Stitch holding a bug box and the card gives a bit of background and describes where the animal (in this case, a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula) can be found in the park.
“Location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Conservation Station (and featured in ‘It’s Tough to be a Bug!’)
Location in the wild: Central Pacific coast of Mexico
Diet: Insects, lizards and amphibians”
The back of the card gives additional animal information and usually has a conservation message thrown in to the mix…
“Mexican red-knee tarantula
Talk about a serious hair ball! Some tarantulas, like the Mexican red-knee, can use their hairs for defense. Using their back legs, they flick hairs off their abdomen into the face of a predator, giving the tarantula just enough time to escape. Tarantulas also use their hairs to sense things around them. Because of their beauty, some tarantulas have been over-collected for the pet trade and are now endangered. Research possible pets before you buy, to avoid harming wild animal populations.”
If you find yourself talking with an avid pin collector, it’s a great subject to bring into the conversation. A lot of kids love collecting, so why not learn a bit about the animals while you’re at it? They can make it a challenge too, to find the animals in the park that they receive in their mystery box. As presenters, they’re a lot of fun too, because the pin’s focus, whether by chance or not, focuses around our job position. Stay tuned for the other pins!