As far as wildlife and conservation is concerned, the focus in August this year has been on two of the planet’s most renowned and also endangered animals. By dedicating and celebrating a national day for each of these species, conservation experts hope to make significant environmental law changes, intended to prevent further decline of these animal populations. I am of course referring to World Elephant and World Orangutan day.
Due to deforestation, the bush meat trade, poaching and tourism, these two beautiful species have never been at a higher risk. In counties such as Thailand, the Asian elephant continues to work at festivals, provide elephant rides, appear at wedding ceremonies, whilst also being used as slaves to beg sympathising tourists for money. Whilst the brutal methods behind taming these wild giants have now been revealed, tourists (whether they are aware of the abuse these animals face or not) are continuing to help fund these attractions. As a result, the Asian Elephant has been reduced to an incredibly low 4000 individuals in Thailand alone.
Where wild Orangutans once thrived across most of Asia, they are now strictly confined to Borneo and Sumatran, with the Sumatran sub-species having declined to as low as 6,600 individuals. Habitat fragmentation has been the biggest threat to the Orangutan, with miles of forest being destroyed and replaced with oil palm plantations, illegal sites for mining and logging, with forest fires also contributing to this destruction. Alongside this, locals often find orphaned oranguatans as a result of deforestation and continue to either keep them illegally as pets and/or trade them for similar purposes.
No money required, just one minute of your time.
It is vital that we as a whole help put a stop to this issue. By doing as little as signing petitions that are promoted by animal charities, there is a higher chance that the countries using these animals for employment and entertainment purposes will bring in stricter laws to protect them instead. World Animal Protection is currently leading a petition to prevent TripAdvisor profiting from attractions that abuse the Asian Elephant, whilst petitions attempting to tackle all sorts of wildlife issues can be found across social media. Too many animals are suffering and have lost their lives because of human ignorance, with Juma the jaguar being a recent result of poor law enforcement in this year’s Olympic torch relay. Unnecessary death.
I think it’s fair to say that enough is enough. Petitions only take 1 minute to sign. A name and email address is all that it takes to get that petition one step closer to making a change so that the populations of these animals can start to increase. I’ve attached a link to the World Animals Protection website below for people to sign the petition against TripAdvisor profiting from attractions that neglect elephants and hope that as many of you as possible will help move the process along by signing the petition. I have also linked further information to the tragic death of Juma the jaguar. As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts on these issues in the comments section and would love to hear if and when any of you sign the petition.
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