Leisure: Caution: Live Animals

From Mickey and Goofy to the Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa, animals have been valued--and immensely profitable--members of the Disney family. But caring for the live creatures at Animal Kingdom is different from controlling the animated critters for which the company has been famous. Over the past six months, more than a dozen animals have died at the Disney zoo or on their way there. Last week, prompted by the string of deaths, the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched an investigation to determine whether Disney has violated the Animal Welfare Act.

Among the animals that died were four cheetah cubs, two...

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