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Death tolls at Animal Kingdom

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Three weeks after federal investigators had cleared Disney in the deaths of at least a dozen animals at its Animal Kingdom, the whole truth came out about the company's new "environmentally oriented" theme park: 31 rare animals had perished in the seven months they had been under the care of Disney staff.

The fact that almost three times as many exotic creatures had died as the number previously revealed by Disney was perhaps less disappointing than the company's unfeeling response to questions about the actual number of deaths through April at the park designed to educate visitors on ecology and wildlife preservation. "The number of these deaths is very small compared to the number of animals in the park and mortality in the wild," says Disney spokeswoman Diane Ledder.


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