Disney's Unnatural Selection

Harper’s Magazine, August 1998, p. 29.

“The fol­low­ing list is taken from an April 22 report by the United States De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture on its in­ves­ti­ga­tion of several widely pub­li­cized animal deaths at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park opened in Orlando, Florida, on the day of the report’s release. The report cleared Disney of any wrongdoing.”


Black rhino Per­fo­rated colon and di­aphragm after eating a 21-inch-long stick Greater kudu Pneu­mo­nia Cheetah cubs (4) Drank poison South­ern gerenuk Failure to thrive Chin­chilla rabbits (8) Ma­ter­nal neglect Nile hip­popota­mus Sudden onset of sep­ticemia Guinea hog Died under anes­the­sia during routine ex­am­i­na­tion Mhorr’s gazelle In­juries re­sult­ing from being kicked by a greater kudu Greater kudu Eu­th­a­nized after trying to jump out of warthog enclosure. Mole rats (2) Unknown cause Guenther’s dik-dik Died during cas­tra­tion White rhi­noc­eros Died under anes­the­sia during routine ex­am­i­na­tion Ori­en­tal small-clawed otters (2) Ate poi­so­nous loquat seeds Thomson’s gazelle In­juries likely re­sult­ing from being kicked by an ostrich Mhorr’s gazelle Cere­bral trauma of an unknown cause Sabel an­te­lope En­tan­gled in elec­tric fence Crowned cranes (2) Run over by Disney tour vehicle