What do the Orangutans of Borneo, the Elephants of Sumatra, and the Black Rhino all have in common? Aside from being really cool animals that we see on TV and YouTube, the sad truth about these creatures is that they’re all critically endangered. We’re losing the variety of life on Earth at an alarming rate. We’ve seen a 68% average decline in the number of birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles since 1970, according to the 2020 Living Planet Report. This loss affects our health and well-being – and the future of our planet.
To raise awareness of endangered species and what we all can do, the UN is celebrating World Wildlife Day on March 3, marking the day the group signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. World Wildlife Day gives us an opportunity to focus on solutions and see the importance of saving our planet’s incredible wildlife. We can all make a difference, get involved, learn and have fun while doing it!
Here are some fun wildlife facts to start your learning:
- Orangutans don’t mind eating with their feet. They are incredibly dexterous and use both hands and feet while gathering food and traveling through the trees.
- Rhino horns are made of keratin – the same protein which forms the basis of our hair and nails.
- Panda Bears spend most of their day eating. They spend 10 to 16 hours a day feeding, mainly on bamboo.
- Baby Elephant calves can stand within 20 minutes of being born. Amazingly, they can walk within one hour. After two days, they can keep up with the herd.
- Lions hunt during storms. They hunt at night as their eyes have adapted to the dark and this gives them a huge advantage over their prey. They hunt more during storms as the noise and wind make it harder for prey to see and hear them.
- Polar Bears can swim for long distances and steadily for many hours to get from one piece of ice to another. Their large paws are specially adapted for swimming and are used to paddle through the water while holding their hind legs flat like a rudder.
- Bottlenose Dolphins are one of the few species, along with apes and humans, that have the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror.
- Sharks have been around for over 400 million years – long before dinosaurs.
- Snow Leopards can’t roar, unlike other big cats. Snow leopards have a ‘main’ call described as a ‘piercing yowl’ that’s so loud it can be heard over the roar of a river.
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