During my research for part one of this Clinton Global Initiative conference assignment, I came across a description of a session on Tuesday’s agenda. It was for a discussion called “Elephants Action Network: Next Steps to Save Africa’s Elephants,” a panel, according to the description, covered the protection of elephants from extinction, and the sale of ivory on the black market. Gripped by the idea of animal preservation, I went in search for the video of the session, but my search came up empty handed. It still got me thinking about the issue, though.
The other day, a very sad thought crossed my mind. There are only four White Rhinos left in the entire world. They have been predicted to die out in the next few years. Why? Us. Humans are poaching and killing endangered and critically threatened species for parts. For what? Let me ask you think. What do you think piano keys, or cue balls are made of? What are fur coats made of?
There are currently 17 animal species listed at “critically endangered” on the WWF list of endangered species. It makes my heart ache to think that decades from now, my kids won’t know what a rhino is, because the black nor the white species won’t exist anymore; he or she may not know what a polar bear, or a tiger, or an elephant. When he or she asks why, I am going to have say “we (humans) did it.”
As a species, humans have devastated our climate, our nature, and the planet as a whole. Singlehandedly, we humans are destroying the Earth faster than we can rectify it. Deforestation, global warming and climate change, poaching: all for a “better,” “easier” life.
Wildlife preservation is something that we all need to be invested in. We are all residents of this planet, and we need to protect and preserve it. It’s time to engage with our environments, and make sure that they thrive as long as we do.
I took an honors class in the spring about zoo management, where the class took a
trip to Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo. The zoo’s motto is “close enough to care.” Like the Syracuse Zoo, I too believe that we need to bring people close enough to wildlife to care, and conserve species, by donation, volunteering, or simply raising awareness. Because if we continue down the path of destruction that we are on right now, then, perhaps, even the most common of animals might not exist in the next 100 years.