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Discovery Island little known fact

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So we were on the resort boat today, and I was listening to this man talk to the captain about Discovery Island. He said that he visited many years ago, and they had many "unusual" animals on the island. He described these animals that were "miniature bears" that would follow you along the walkways. The boat captain just said "hmmm". It was all I could do to not laugh at this tool. 

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Feral cats.

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4 hours ago, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Hmmmm

 

Did he happen to mention what drugs he took before seeing these miniature bears?

Was it winter, kids in fuzzy sweaters?

Racoons?

Granted I was a kid last time I was at Discovery Island, but I recall unusual animals or anything following us. 

Magic mushrooms would be my guess

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On 11/22/2017 at 8:53 PM, ImDownWithDisney said:

So we were on the resort boat today, and I was listening to this man talk to the captain about Discovery Island. He said that he visited many years ago, and they had many "unusual" animals on the island. He described these animals that were "miniature bears" that would follow you along the walkways. The boat captain just said "hmmm". It was all I could do to not laugh at this tool. 

I think he got mixed up with a few episodes of Lost!

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Blake-

The guy may not have been as kooky as you think.

My oldest daughter still talks about one time when we visited Discovery Island, and a big, strange animal walked across the path right in front of us.  When she got home, she told Mrs. TCD about the "giant squirrel with no tail" that we had seen.

I had to do some research before I figured out what we saw was a capybara:

Image result for capybara

So, they did have strange animals wandering around on Discovery Island.

But, no miniature bears, as far as I know.

TCD

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23 hours ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Blake-

The guy may not have been as kooky as you think.

My oldest daughter still talks about one time when we visited Discovery Island, and a big, strange animal walked across the path right in front of us.  When she got home, she told Mrs. TCD about the "giant squirrel with no tail" that we had seen.

I had to do some research before I figured out what we saw was a capybara:

Image result for capybara

So, they did have strange animals wandering around on Discovery Island.

But, no miniature bears, as far as I know.

TCD

Were they wild capybara?

could it have been a Nutria y’all saw?

 

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On 11/23/2017 at 2:21 PM, Cortezcapt (Derek) said:

Hmmmm

 

Did he happen to mention what drugs he took before seeing these miniature bears?

Was it winter, kids in fuzzy sweaters?

Racoons?

Granted I was a kid last time I was at Discovery Island, but I recall unusual animals or anything following us. 

Wasn’t there red kangaroos and lemurs on the island?  

After a few drinks and a dozen years they might look like miniature bears. 

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On 11/28/2017 at 9:06 AM, Tri-Circle-D said:

Blake-

The guy may not have been as kooky as you think.

My oldest daughter still talks about one time when we visited Discovery Island, and a big, strange animal walked across the path right in front of us.  When she got home, she told Mrs. TCD about the "giant squirrel with no tail" that we had seen.

I had to do some research before I figured out what we saw was a capybara:

Image result for capybara

So, they did have strange animals wandering around on Discovery Island.

But, no miniature bears, as far as I know.

TCD

Those things were all over Discovery Island.

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1 hour ago, djsamuel said:

Those things were all over Discovery Island.

So they weren’t wild.  

Did disney just let them and the other animals run wild on the island?

boy i wish i Have had a chance to visit discovery Island.would Have had a chance to visit discovery Island.

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On 11/28/2017 at 9:06 AM, Tri-Circle-D said:

Blake-

The guy may not have been as kooky as you think.

My oldest daughter still talks about one time when we visited Discovery Island, and a big, strange animal walked across the path right in front of us.  When she got home, she told Mrs. TCD about the "giant squirrel with no tail" that we had seen.

I had to do some research before I figured out what we saw was a capybara:

Image result for capybara

So, they did have strange animals wandering around on Discovery Island.

But, no miniature bears, as far as I know.

TCD

Should I be embarrassed to admit... that I had to google this one?! :rolleyes:

Interesting little creatures.

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3 hours ago, twiceblessed....nacole said:

Should I be embarrassed to admit... that I had to google this one?! :rolleyes:

Interesting little creatures.

Here's something else that you probably don't know-

When Animal Kingdom opened, all of the animals from Discovery Island were relocated there, including the capybaras.  Initially, the area around the Tree of Life was called the Tree of Life Gardens.  A few years later, the name was changed to Discovery Island.

A lot of guests don't know that there are trails that wind all around the tree of life, and that there are live animals on display in enclosures around the Tree of Life.  The capybaras used to be there, but their display was removed, and they are no longer around:

The attraction used to have Capybaras in the exhibit, but they have since been removed.  The Capybara is a very large rodent-like animal.  They are native to North America and are semi-aquatic animals.  They are herbivores, dining on various plant life.  They typically live to be about 8 to 10 years old and are very neat looking animals.  It would be great to still be able to see these animals.

http://www.disneylists.com/2017/05/7-facts-secrets-discovery-island-trails-disneys-animal-kingdom/

TCD

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17 hours ago, h2odivers...Ray said:

So they weren’t wild.  

Did disney just let them and the other animals run wild on the island?

boy i wish i Have had a chance to visit discovery Island.would Have had a chance to visit discovery Island.

The capybara did seem to roam around the island, but the other animals were in enclosures.

I am not sure if the one we saw was supposed to be out loose like it was.  Capybaras can swim, so I would think they should have been concerned about them leaving the island.  We only saw one loose the one time, so I always thought he was just an escapee.

It's too bad you never got to visit Discovery Island. It was very easy to access from Fort Wilderness.  There was a separate cost of admission, but you could buy those tickets at the old River Country ticket window.  The cost was reasonable, and there was a River Country/Discovery Island combo ticket.  I know we went a lot when the twins were under 3 because they got in for free.  There was a little quick serve restaurant on the island that served kids meals in plastic buckets that came with a shovel.  My kids were perfectly happy to spend time on the beach there digging in the sand using those plastic buckets.  Sadly, the twins turned three the year that Animal Kingdom opened, and Discovery Island closed.  They don't remember Discovery Island, and barely remember River Country, but my oldest daughter remembers both, especially the time she saw the giant squirrel with no tail.

TCD

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17 hours ago, h2odivers...Ray said:

So they weren’t wild.  

Did disney just let them and the other animals run wild on the island?

boy i wish i Have had a chance to visit discovery Island.would Have had a chance to visit discovery Island.

The birds were in a walk through area, but other than that, the animals just walked around.  I can't remember if there were any animals in cages.

Discovery Island was a great place.  I still wish it was open when we ride past it on the boat.

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2 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

The capybara did seem to roam around the island, but the other animals were in enclosures.

I am not sure if the one we saw was supposed to be out loose like it was.  Capybaras can swim, so I would think they should have been concerned about them leaving the island.  We only saw one loose the one time, so I always thought he was just an escapee.

It's too bad you never got to visit Discovery Island. It was very easy to access from Fort Wilderness.  There was a separate cost of admission, but you could buy those tickets at the old River Country ticket window.  The cost was reasonable, and there was a River Country/Discovery Island combo ticket.  I know we went a lot when the twins were under 3 because they got in for free.  There was a little quick serve restaurant on the island that served kids meals in plastic buckets that came with a shovel.  My kids were perfectly happy to spend time on the beach there digging in the sand using those plastic buckets.  Sadly, the twins turned three the year that Animal Kingdom opened, and Discovery Island closed.  They don't remember Discovery Island, and barely remember River Country, but my oldest daughter remembers both, especially the time she saw the giant squirrel with no tail.

TCD

Good point about the ability of the Capybaras to swim.  I definitely remember them either on the walkways or besides the walk ways.  They definitely had free reign as did other animals.  As I posted, I remember the aviary, which was huge; but I can't remember specific cages for other animals.  I'm sure there were, but the free walking animals must be what sticks in my mind.

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19 minutes ago, djsamuel said:

Good point about the ability of the Capybaras to swim.  I definitely remember them either on the walkways or besides the walk ways.  They definitely had free reign as did other animals.  As I posted, I remember the aviary, which was huge; but I can't remember specific cages for other animals.  I'm sure there were, but the free walking animals must be what sticks in my mind.

I remember that the giant tortoises were in a fenced in area.  The fencing was like the rope and posts that they recently installed all around the property for the alligators.  I may be remembering a different place, but I think it was Discovery Island where they let kids ride on the backs of the tortoises.  That kind of thing would be frowned on today.

TCD

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3 minutes ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

I remember that the giant tortoises were in a fenced in area.  The fencing was like the rope and posts that they recently installed all around the property for the alligators.  I may be remembering a different place, but I think it was Discovery Island where they let kids ride on the backs of the tortoises.  That kind of thing would be frowned on today.

TCD

Yes, I forgot about the tortoises.  I don't remember anybody riding on them though; but it's been a while.  First time I went was in 1975 as a teenager and then I went on my honeymoon in 1984.  After that, we would go there frequently until it closed. 

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1 hour ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Here's something else that you probably don't know-

When Animal Kingdom opened, all of the animals from Discovery Island were relocated there, including the capybaras.  Initially, the area around the Tree of Life was called the Tree of Life Gardens.  A few years later, the name was changed to Discovery Island.

A lot of guests don't know that there are trails that wind all around the tree of life, and that there are live animals on display in enclosures around the Tree of Life.  The capybaras used to be there, but their display was removed, and they are no longer around:

The attraction used to have Capybaras in the exhibit, but they have since been removed.  The Capybara is a very large rodent-like animal.  They are native to North America and are semi-aquatic animals.  They are herbivores, dining on various plant life.  They typically live to be about 8 to 10 years old and are very neat looking animals.  It would be great to still be able to see these animals.

http://www.disneylists.com/2017/05/7-facts-secrets-discovery-island-trails-disneys-animal-kingdom/

TCD

Did not know that.  I grew up in Washington State and only remember going to WDW once before moving to Ga in 2001.  The one visit, I believe I was in 8th or 9th grade (so probably around 1984-1985).  I remember going to River Country... but I don't think we went to Discovery Island.

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Before our Cuba cruise, this summer, we went to see the Gator Boys and did an airboat ride.  Our guide also volunteered to help rid the Everglades of nuisance pests.  I.E. anacondas. I remembering him saying that the capybara was the next nuisaance animal that they were worried about in the glades.  That’s why I was surprised they let them run wild on discovery island.    I had to look it up, today, to make sure he was correct.  And he is. The capybara is not native to North America.  It’s found in South America and by some accounts, 5 were accidentally released in northern Florida in 1995.  And they’ve been reproducing ever since.   

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15 minutes ago, h2odivers...Ray said:

Before our Cuba cruise, this summer, we went to see the Gator Boys and did an airboat ride.  Our guide also volunteered to help rid the Everglades of nuisance pests.  I.E. anacondas. I remembering him saying that the capybara was the next nuisaance animal that they were worried about in the glades.  That’s why I was surprised they let them run wild on discovery island.    I had to look it up, today, to make sure he was correct.  And he is. The capybara is not native to North America.  It’s found in South America and by some accounts, 5 were accidentally released in northern Florida in 1995.  And they’ve been reproducing ever since.   

Do you have any source for this other than the Gator Boy?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission keeps track of invasive species in Florida, and while their website does mention some wild capybara sightings, they don't have any record of a breeding population in the wild:

Large rodent from South America that might have originated from escapes from a wildlife research facility. Population size, trends, and impact on native species are unknown. Although not reported breeding in the wild, sightings are not uncommon, and a breeding population may exist.

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/mammals/capybara/

TCD

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I remember years ago, carnival/circus side shows used to have them and announced "See the Giant S American Rodents".

Of course the posters outside had them depicted as some ferocious man eating giant rat!

 

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1 hour ago, Tri-Circle-D said:

Do you have any source for this other than the Gator Boy?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission keeps track of invasive species in Florida, and while their website does mention some wild capybara sightings, they don't have any record of a breeding population in the wild:

Large rodent from South America that might have originated from escapes from a wildlife research facility. Population size, trends, and impact on native species are unknown. Although not reported breeding in the wild, sightings are not uncommon, and a breeding population may exist.

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/mammals/capybara/

TCD

Yes I have other sources besides the gator boys.   I remembered the guide saying that capybara are not native to North America like the Disneylist.com story someone quoted said.  I think guys,who dedicate their lives to preserving and protecting Florida’s wild animals, know more about animals and where they are from then a blogger about Disney. 
 
Then I did a google search about where capybara are from and I found several sources that said they were native to South America.   Including the San Diego zoo.   Which I would say, again,is more of an authority on animals then Disneylist.com
 
 
 
there are plenty of articles about the capybaras in Florida. 
Here’s one from sciencenews.org
 
Capybaras, giant rodents native to South America, could become Florida’s next big invasive species, a biologist warned August 3 in Columbia, Mo., at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society.
“Capybaras have been introduced to northern Florida,” said Elizabeth Congdon of Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla. And there are enough similarities to nutria — large invasive rodents that have caused havoc in many states — to warrant a closer look at the South American newcomers.
 
 
 
 

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