In the early stages of developing ideas for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the focus shifted from nature itself, to symbiotic living, to the animals themselves. One such thought path was concerned with the first view guests had of the park as the approached from the parking lot. In an attempt to get the animals immediately to the forefront of guests’ attention, the concept of having a procession of animal figurines marching toward the entrance was explored. Upon further contemplation, this meant that guests’ first vista of the park would be a parade of animal derrieres.
Obviously, this idea was abandoned, but animal statues were not totally washed away. Instead, a selection of animal sculptures were created and placed throughout Discovery Island. Some are visible in plain sight, while others are tucked away behind foliage, but each bears a remarkable likeness to the animals of the park.