Here are some of earth’s animals that are nearing extinction. If we do not step in and do something about the loss of their habitat, continuing global warming, poaching or the destruction of their food source… before long… they will be no more.
The Giant Panda has been forced out of lowland China due to deforestation and farming. It doesn’t help that the Panda is a very fussy eater and will only eat bamboo, which restricts its movements somewhat. There’s not much nutrition in bamboo, even when you manage to eat a whopping great 14kgs of the stuff, as the Giant Panda does, which makes for little conversation with the opposite sex. Add the fact that Giant Panda’s don’t really like to… well… play at hanky panky very much and you can see why there is trouble in Panda camp. Giant Panda’s are just too shy to breed in captivity which means that their numbers have seriously dwindled in the past few years.
Polar bears could be extinct in the next 100 years if climate change continues to melt and ravage the North Pole’s ice glaciers. The North Pole’s permanent ice is melting by a record 10% each year and is predicted to speed up, not slow down. No ice, means no hunting habitat and no hunting, means no bears.
Koala’s are the Australian version of China’s Giant Panda. Koala’s exist purely on a diet of eucalyptus leaves. The Koala name means ‘no drink’ as they get 90% of their moisture intake from eating eucalyptus leaves. These leaves are toxic to most species of animals and are highly indigestible. For that reason, Koala’s sleep for ¾ of the day and for the six hours they are awake, they devote them to eating. They are lucky to have one joey (offspring) per year and these remain virtually helpless for at least the first 20 – 30 weeks of their life. Drought and development of land are the biggest factors which are causing experts to worry about the longevity of the Koala race. Their habitat and food source is being slowly eaten away.
The White Rhinoceros is almost on the brink of extinction in the wild today and few have made it to captivity. The ones that have basically refused to breed behind bars and who can blame them? For the most part in captivity, there are not given a huge choice of whom to mate with. The most successful breeding of the White Rhino in captivity has been in the San Diego Wild Animal Park and there have been 75 successful births from 1988 onwards. The white rhinoceros is larger than that of its black counterpart, with a noticeably larger head and body. Weighing up to two tons, they can live for a maximum of fifty years. The rhinoceros is surprisingly fleet of foot, considering its size and can reach speeds of 30 mph. The female gestation period is that of 15 – 16 months and only one calf is born.
Image via Wikipedia
The Komodo Dragon is the largest lizard on earth. It can weigh up to 350lbs and grow over 10ft long. Once more humans are to blame for the Komodo’s dwindling numbers. We are encroaching upon their territory, destroying their habitat and poaching them for their skins. The reptiles will hunt wild boar, deer, macaques, rats and dig up the eggs of mound birds. The Kimodo swallows without the need to chew. Immediately after they are born Kimodo’s are left to fend for themselves, considering the parents sometimes eat their young, this can be quite an achievement in itself!
It seems incredible in this day and age of technology, but if we do not step in and try to help save these animals, they will shortly be going the same way as that of the dodo… they will be lost to us forever.
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