During my years as a Girl Scout Leader and Leader Trainer I instructed students on methods to help protect our endangered animals. My belief is that education is the key element to their survival. Through education I hope that these animals will survive and be around for future generations to enjoy.
I have also gone on two Africa photo safaris in hopes of seeing the magnificent rhino, elephant, lion, and leopard (and the intimidating Cape Buffalo too, even though it is not endangered.) Technically the leopard and white rhino are only considered “threatened.” Of the endangered species that I have seen the black rhino and the manatee are the most critically endangered. Both species being listed in the top 100 most endangered. Some reports state that the hippo could be extinct in 25 years. Unfortunately hundreds of Africa’s animals are endangered including the African penguin, cheetah, hippo and the Grevy’s zebra.
Most recently I had the phenomenal experience of an up close and personal encounter with the endangered Great White Shark, possibly the most feared of the endangered species. Yes I was protected in a steel cage but somehow she didn’t appear as vicious as I had expected.
I have been lucky to have had many endangered encounters and I hope that with everyone’s help my granddaughters will be able to have a lot of animal encounters too. With everyone’s help maybe when they have their encounters the animals will no longer be endangered but instead thriving! It can happen; just recently I saw bald eagles living just miles away from my home! They are a success story, having been removed from the list in endangered list in 2007. The Bald Eagle is a perfect example of what can happen to a species with education and proper protection.
Remember without protection you won’t be able to have the spectacular experience of the encounters or even watch them on the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet! Make it your goal to see an endangered animal soon…and not at a zoo, that’s cheating! Make the choice today to see, enjoy and protect all of our endangered species.