Guest Post by Endangered Apparel
Our planet is a pretty amazing place. It’s located just close enough to its parent star to produce the perfect temperature for live to thrive. Our atmosphere contains the right mixture of gases that benefit both plant and animal life. The gene pool has positively mutated enough to produce all forms of intelligently balanced life. Fortuitously, our planet has even been spared by the bombardment of asteroids thanks to a nearby gas giant, Jupiter, that draws them with its gravity.
As a result of all these perfect conditions our planet has developed a diversity of natural life that we cannot fathom and count. Even in this modern day and age, we are still discovering species we have never heard of and uncovering what abilities and characteristics they possess. As this planet’s dominant species and its most intelligent one, we have to assume responsibility for looking out for our co-inhabitants who can’t look out for themselves.
The opposite of this, however, has happened over the years. Mankind, in the name of progress and of wealth, has decided to rid animals of habitats. Even worse, we have taken it up to even hunt some of these magnificent creatures until their very extinction. The reason for such folly was never a matter of survival nor was it for any good, justifiable reason of last resort. The reason we hunted down creatures like the rhinoceros, the dodo, the mammoth, the Tasmanian wolf and many other majestic creatures is for selfish and avaricious purposes. Purposes fueled by enriching ourselves or expanding our habitation into the realm of opulence rather than practicality.
But there is a glimmer of hope, not all humans possess the kind of dark hearted thoughts that once drove those before us. Now, we have people who have become aware and enlightened by the need to help conserve our friends who are in danger of being wiped out from the face of the earth. One of the efforts being done to help preserve our animal buddies is by establishing and setting up sanctuaries for them. An animal sanctuary is a facility where animals are brought to live and be protected for the rest of their lives. A sanctuary is a large tract of land or controlled environment wherein the animals roam. How can a sanctuary help preserve our animal friends? Well here are a few ways they do so.
Sanctuaries provide habitation
One of the biggest reasons why animals are facing extinction is because of loss of habitation. The gorilla, for instance, in Africa has lost swathes of land due to expanding human settlements. They have tried their best to retreat into the forest but as humans settle further into their territories they will have to either push back or end up losing their homes. The increased level of contact with humans has also resulted in more gorillas getting killed or illegally captured for selfish purposes.
Sanctuaries protect animals from poachers
Several governments have taken legislative measures to protect animals from being hunted to extinction. Oftentimes though, in the wild, these laws are largely ignored and the hunting of these animals has even increased because the value of components harvested from them has increased due to the more controlled supply. From furs to their meat to their horns or their carcass as a trophy, for some of them like the black bear in China, their bile is even harvested because it supposedly possesses healing properties. Due to the controlled environment and location of these sanctuaries, these animals have a safe haven and are protected against these poachers. Some have even established sanctuaries in a country that is not native to those animals but has a climate similar to theirs to take them far away from the lack of protection in their home nation.
Sanctuaries help provide scientific studies to understand these animals
The animals in sanctuaries are not only protected from hunters and given habitation but they are scientifically studied to help them thrive. Due to the controlled environment it is easier to study their behavioral patterns and help us gain an understanding of these animals. This invaluable information is applied to communities that live near these animals in their wild habitation. For example, animals like the wolf, who share a common habitation area with some human settlements have been known to wander into towns and endanger children and local pets. This has made them a nuisance in the eyes of the residents there and sometimes causes them to be shot on the spot. By understanding their feeding patterns and their attraction to food humans have left behind it is possible to minimize the contact between the 2 species and save lives on both sides.
For all the benefits that sanctuaries bring, the operation of these animal havens does not come at an affordable price. These sanctuaries have received donations from philanthropic benefactors and sometimes charge an admission for us to interact and see the animals in an environment similar to their habitats up close but these are not enough. They need the help of every human on this planet to help them save these beautiful animals so our grandchildren and their grandchildren can continue to enjoy them.
Endangered Apparel is a clothing company that donates 20% of proceeds to sanctuaries to support conservation efforts for elephants, lions, giant pandas, and koalas. Check out their website or Instagram.