“Animals are living beings first and then animals.”
According to the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are now 41,415 animals that are endangered and today we shall take a look at some of them.
Do you remember the short-tempered Taz in Warner Bros Looney Tunes? What if I tell you that the friends of our maniacal cartoon character are among the world’s most endangered species in the real world?
The Tasmanian Devil is an aggressive and carnivorous mammal that belongs to the Dasyuridae family and is known as the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial. It is native to mainland Australia but can also be found in an Island State of Australia called Tasmania, after which it was named.
The Tasmanian devil is about a dog’s size and can reach 50 to 80 cm in length and weigh up to 26 pounds. It has a coarse brown or black fur that can make them appear as baby bears. With their stocky build, they have long front legs and shorter rear legs. It is said that the devil has the strongest bite compared to any other living mammalian carnivore. For instance, the Tasmanian Devil’s jaws and teeth, which resemble those of a hyena, are so powerful that they can even tear through a thick metal wire. The Tasmanian devil is also known for its pungent odour, deafening screech and ferocious eating style.
Research showed that the Tasmanian Devil prefers a solitary life but can sometimes eat and defecate with its other friends. It is also categorised as a nocturnal animal as it can spend most of the day in bush or hole. Moreover, as seen in the cartoon character, the Tasmanian Devil will not hesitate to lunge and bare its teeth at its attacker when threatened.
However, since the 20th century, a disease called the Devil facial tumour disease has killed thousands of these animals. This deadly disease is a transmittable condition where a form of cancer causes lumps to form around the animal’s mouth, which prevents the latter from eating. And, eventually the animal dies. As a result of this fatal condition, the species has been categorised as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
In Malay, orangutan means “person of the forest.” Orangutans are great apes that live in Borneo and Sumatra’s rainforests, but which were native to Indonesia and Malaysia. These apes can be divided into three species:
- The Bornean orangutan: A species that has been categorised as “critically endangered” by the IUCN.
- The Tapanuli orangutan: Approximatively only 800of the species are left, and they can only be found in Sumatra.
- The Sumatran orangutan: Compared to the Bornean ones, this species tends to feed more on raw fruits.
Mostly known for their red or orangish fur, these mammals have long arms and short legs. However, the most shocking aspect of orangutans is that they have 96.4% of our genes. In addition, these creatures are known to be very intelligent.
Unfortunately, these harmless mammals face considerable threats. Human activities such as deforestation and hunting have destroyed their natural habitat and endangered their survival.
According to you, which is the largest land mammal on earth? The answer is of course, the elephant!
Also known as the Asiatic elephant, the Asian elephant is a species from the genus Elephas and can be found throughout Southeast Asia. Asian elephants are generally smaller than the African bush elephants and can be recognised by their small rounded ears and their long nose and upper lips.
The Asian elephant can be classified into three subspecies as shown below:
- Elephas maximus maximus: Also known as the Sri Lankan Elephant, this species was predominately threatened by habitat loss and by 2011, only 5879 of elephants were recorded.
- Elephas maximus indicus: Since the 1940s, the population of the Indian Elephants has decreased by at least 50%.
- Elephas maximus sumatranus: Native to Indonesia, the population of the Sumatran elephant has declined by nearly 80% due to habitat loss, illegal poaching and degradation.
For a few seconds, why don’t you forget your own problems and think about the plight of these endangered animals? Think about how these animals can be erased forever from the earth if proper measures are not taken. What do you suggest? Please share your comments below!