Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why conservation is important to me

Everyone has something they hold close to their heart. Something they are passionate about and that somehow connects with them on a personal level. As you have probably figured out, I am passionate about conservation and preserving what the earth has to offer for our future generations. 

We recently lost an animal known as Lonesome George. He was the last of his species and now my family will never get to see this La Pinta Island giant tortoise. When my son and I read about this loss, we cried. Some may think crying over an animal you've never met is ridiculous. Others may think there are hundreds of other Galapagos tortoises - you see them at the zoo. These are the people that don't get it. They don't get the big picture and I would say that only a third of them ever will.

I will probably live longer than the Northern White Rhino species. My sons children will probably never get a chance to see a Northern White Rhino. Why? Because these animals are hunted and killed ... Just as the tigers and elephants are hunted and killed. When I read stories about this in the news, like the one I read today, it makes me sad and angry. I sit here racking my brain trying to figure out how I can help. These animals can't talk. They can't ask for help. So it is up to people like me, people who call themselves conservationist, to bring awareness to others about the plight of these animals and the importance of keeping them alive. Not just for our children and grandchildren to see, but for the survival of the animal world.

When I see a picture of an endangered animal or one at the zoo or read a sign at the zoo that says only 39 left in the wild, I literally stop and catch my breath. These animals are so beautiful and I fear that too many people take them for granted.

Don't assume that because you can see an animal at a zoo today it will still be there in 20 years. Zoos educate us about the animals and let us see them up close, but the best way to ensure a species survival is for the species to thrive in the wild.

Once you come face to face with an endangered animal, you will do whatever it takes to save them. I am proud to call myself a conservationist. I will continue to be an advocate for the environment and wildlife because one person can and does make a difference.

Noun: A person who advocates or acts for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife.

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