For most guests, a trip to Walt Disney World Resort is synonymous with a vacation. But for two talented teens from Boston, their visit seemed more like biology lab than summer break.
Shreya, 12, and Marco, 14, traveled to Walt Disney World with their parents and a video crew to tape two segments for the hit PBS television series FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman. The program features an animated dog called Ruff who helps teach real world science by challenging his fellow cast members and viewers to ask questions, conduct experiments and investigate the world around them.
With Disney’s Animal Kingdom as their backdrop, the TV crew focused on Disney’s Animal Programs and the science associated with caring for approximately 7,000 birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. Animal experts — including veterinarians, animal keepers, researchers and conservation biologists — explained the complex systems such as a veterinary hospital, scientific laboratories, nutrition center and more, required to care for the animals.
During one challenge, Marco and Shreya shadowed the veterinary team as they conducted an annual health examination on a 30-year-old siamang, which is an ape native to Asia. They also were able to feed the crocodiles along Kilimanjaro Safari and provide enrichment treats such as peppermint and pumpkin pie spices to the tigers along Maharaja Jungle Trek.
FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman is produced by WGBH Boston and may be seen in select local markets and online at pbskids.org/go/video.