I have always been an animal lover, and I have generally been intrigued by the plight of endangered and threatened species. It bothers me to think that there are entire populations of animals being destroyed before the general public gets a chance to see them in person. I understand that there are many conservationist groups doing all they can to keep these animals alive, but as long as these creatures are being hunted and ousted from their natural habitats, there is little chance they will exist 10 years down the line. The biggest problem conservationists have with protecting rare species is the fact that these animals are usually heavily desired on the black market. It is unfortunate that hunters and poachers fail to realize that they are doing irreparable damage to the planet, and completely depleting their own source of income. What it comes down to is greed, the people who want these animals hanging on their mantels are depriving the world of a species in the name of owning a trophy. In my opinion, the best way to save endangered species is to make a truly enclosed artificial habitat for them. I understand that the captivity of a zoo is not ideal, but nature preserves are not as secure as the could be, so the only way to actually keep these animals safe is to simulate the wild. It may take years to figure out the best way to keep endangered animals safe, hopefully with new methods being formed daily, these animals will be able to last until a more permanent fix is in place.
I have always had an obsession with speedy animals, as a child two of my favorite animals where the peregrine falcon and the cheetah. Some would think I admired those creatures since they are the fastest animals in their respective planes of travel, but my admiration goes beyond speed. While the peregrine falcon is the world’s fastest animal, the cheetah has always been my overall favorite based on the fact that I was always a fan of wild cats. The cheetah is an endangered animal, that is found in the southern portions of Africa. The cheetah has been known to reach speeds of up to 75 mph, to put that in perspective, the fastest known human speed is 27 mph, which is about 1/3 of the cheetah’s pace. The fact that the cheetah is such as quick creature always lead me to wonder why it was ever listed as an endangered species, but its speed comes at a price. In order to have the ability to reach such high speeds the cheetah does not have the same power other predators possess, and even though they can catch their prey they often have to give up their kills to avoid fighting a more dangerous predator. The biggest threats to the cheetah today are other predators and lack of food, the cheetah gives birth to multiple cubs and since they are not often able to bring back meals for the cubs, many of them end up being prey themselves. The majestic cheetah has been somewhat revived by various acts of conservation and environmental protection, but due to different scientific aspects, many believe this animal will soon face extinction. The cheetah is my favorite animal, I would love to share my affinity for this great creature with my grandchildren someday. I just hope this animal can survive the next few decades, and with the help of humans, thrive for centuries to come.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been an influx of coyotes into New York City. Coyotes have showed up in almost every borough, and are causing quite a stir in the city streets. I love animals, and I like seeing them naturally in their habitats, but it is always alarming when their habitats start merging with major cities. The case of coyotes in the city is alarming because they have been in New York State for years, but they have never had a reason to journey so deep into the city. Where I live, there are nature preserves and wooded areas, so the occasional coyote or dear sighting does happen, but in the heart of Manhattan this is unprecedented. My concern is that all of the new developments in upper New York are forcing these animals to find new homes, and a new food source. The city is rapidly changing, and while these new developments are creating short term construction jobs, they are possibly hurting our environment and causing harm to wildlife. Government officials need to reevaluate the locations where urban development projects can occur, because coyotes and other wildlife are not only harmful to themselves, but very harmful to children and pets. Hopefully this episode of coyote vacations to the city ends swiftly, with no injury to man or beast.
I have always had a profound love for animals, as a child I used to study heavily about different species and I was always extremely knowledgeable on all things wildlife. Sadly, as an adult I have strayed away from my interest, but from time to time I like to get back into my animal studies. Today, for some odd reason, I started thinking about ostriches, the ostrich is the worlds largest bird and the fact that they weigh in at over 400lbs proves that one would be hard pressed to find a larger fowl. Ostriches are fierce creatures, which not only have immense size, but they also have the ability to maintain blazing speeds over 30 mph. The ostrich’s quick pace actually reminds me of what brought me to thinking about this large bird in the first place. In cartoons ostriches were always portrayed as animals that got spooked quickly and hid their heads in a hole for safety, I never understood why such a speedy bird would do that, and I am just now finding out the tale of the head in the hole is a myth. I know I was an animal buff as a child, but I also really liked cartoons, so I didn’t really delve into the mater, since I knew cartoons were not reality. Ostriches do not hide from danger, they either run from it, or fight it, ostriches have even been known to kill lions when defending their young, so I’m sure they wouldn’t hide from a fight. I honestly don’t fully know why I decided to write about ostriches today, but I definitely learned something from researching the animal, hopefully you readers have gained a respect for the worlds largest bird, and possibly a desire to learn more about the many animals all around us.