Disneynature announced today that its "See 'African Cats,' Save the Savanna" campaign will help protect more than 50,000 acres of land in Kenya's Amboseli Wildlife Corridor on behalf of the moviegoers who came out to see Disneynature's motion picture "African Cats" during its opening week (April 22-28, 2011). A portion of the proceeds from the opening-week ticket sales will be donated to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to ensure the future of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, giraffes and a host of other animals in the vibrant African savanna.
The area to be protected equates to 100 Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Parks or more than twice the size of Manhattan. The AWF will be working to establish the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, a passage between the Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills National Parks that is frequently used by a variety of wildlife.
"We're so proud that audiences nationwide have embraced the film and the 'See "African Cats," Save the Savanna' initiative," said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios. "The conservation efforts Disneynature has supported so far span the globe—from planting trees in Brazil, to preserving coral reef in The Bahamas and now protecting this essential passage in Kenya—they've become an extraordinary part of our films and audiences have played a key role in helping our planet."
"The 'See "African Cats," Save the Savanna' program transformed the moviegoing experience into tangible on-the-ground conservation action," said Dr. Patrick Bergin, CEO, African Wildlife Foundation. "The commitment of Disneynature combined with the passion of moviegoers will raise critical funds to conserve the land that the magnificent species featured in "African Cats" call home. Through this amazing collaboration, we celebrate our 50th Anniversary together with Disneynature and all the people who are helping establish the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor."
While the opening-week ticket sales will help protect more than 50,000 acres of the Amboseli Wildlife Corridor, the conservation efforts tied to "African Cats" do not end there. Additional collaborations are committed to adding at least another 15,000 acres to the program–from the sale of artwork and jewelry inspired by the film, to the sale of Jordin Sparks' "The World I Knew" single, to the Cast Member Earth Month pledges across the Walt Disney Company, plus more. These programs, many of them ongoing, support the "Save the Savanna" initiative, which will have a positive long term and sustainable impact on the animals and people of Africa.
"See 'African Cats,' Save the Savanna" continues Disneynature's conservation efforts, which began with its first release, "Earth" (2009), for which three million trees were planted in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. The program in support of "Oceans" (2010) helped establish 40,000 acres of marine protected areas in The Bahamas, which contain miles of vital coral reef.
"African Cats" is in theaters now.