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From Elephants to Sharks: 7 Animals We’ve Driven to Near Extinction

800px-Lion_in_masai_maraMy daughter is going through a big animal phase. We’ve been spending a whole lot of time at the zoo. She spends hours reading about various species. In her spare time she cuddles her large collection of animal themed stuffies. And she loves to go on and on pontificating about the knowledge that she has on all sorts beasts, large and small.  But now there is new information that will totally bum her out, some of her most beloved animals breeds are heading to extinction and it’s all the fault of us humans.

The creatures that made the list includes lions, leopards, orangutans, rhinos, elephants, lemurs and sharks. The reason that  these “iconic” animals are being eliminated from our planet is all due to humans basically taking over the world. Researchers note that the animals are at risk due to poaching and the use of their homeland for agricultural products. The human population is growing and will be taking more land to grow the items we need for day to day living and our impact is leading “to the sixth-largest mass extinction in the history of the planet.” And while we may be gaining food and products animals will be losing their habitats.

An example of the danger is the mighty lion. Dereck Joubert, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, states that there are only 20,000 lions left in Africa compared to 450,000 from fifty year ago, a major decline of about 95%.  So is there anything we can do to make sure the “king of the jungle” doesn’t become dethroned?

“If these animals are to be saved, people will need to be educated about the creatures’ plight, poaching must be stopped, and the animals’ habitats will need to be protected,” Live Science notes the experts stating.

And this education needs to start early. Our children’s generation needs to be instilled with an appreciation for these species and to be made aware that these animals are in danger and that it’s us humans that could destroy or save them. It’s up to us now. Let’s make our children proud and do what we can so that future generations will live in a world with ions, leopards, orangutans, rhinos, elephants, lemurs and sharks.

 

Photo Source: Wiki Commons

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