Saturday, 13 September 2014

Why do humans extinguish other species?

Human beings are capable of incredible evil thoughts, words and deeds. This is nothing new. I also know that I myself say and do things that are evil. And I don’t always manage to do good, the way I wanted to. This is part of human conditions. It nevertheless upsets me. Tonight I am especially upset over human beings' way of treating some of the animals that live on this planet. The reason is our visit to Nambiti Game Reserve and Kwa Cheetah Breeding Project.

The animals graciously make themselves available to us. We enjoy watching them and we shoot photos. They stand there, walk next to the road and just allow us to enjoy. Let me share some photos from our game drive today. I will be very traditional and post four of the five big. The leopard is still teasing us. I say: well done, my friend.

Buffalo. Just behind the car. Impressive!

Elephant. Massive!

Lion. Not so far from us. Respect!

White Rhino. Unfortunately (for him) without the horns.
Still a beauty.
But some of our fellow humans are not satisfied. This is nothing new, but today it became even clearer to us. The first example is the rhino. We saw both black and white and as you can see from the photo their horns are cut off. Not by poachers, but by the game reserve staff. Why? To save them from poaching! (Even with this precaution some poachers break in and shoot them, to get the little tiny part of the horn that is left. Shame on them!) Isn't it sad, that those who want to protect the animals need to hurt them – as the only way to save them?

The other example comes from an experience, which came much closer. We visited the Kwa Cheetah Breeding Project. We learnt that there are around 7 500 cheetahs left on this planet. (I don’t know how many they have been, but their numbers are steadily decreasing.) They are threatened by a number of factors. The first threat is other animals, like for example lions. They see the cheetah as a competitor. Yes, the cheetah is much faster, but can only run for a short while. After that it is exhausted and the lion gets it and tears it into pieces.

Another problem is genetical. The remaining animals are all related. One can read more about this on the website of the breeding project. The link comes here. Besides that it is difficult to breed cheetah. Many males are sterile, due to inbreeding.

The third problem is of course the worst. Human beings! It is unbelievable how people can hunt this beautiful animal or even want to keep it as a pet.

At Kwa Cheetah we were allowed to pat them. It was a nice feeling. But the reason to keep them there is not that. The project aims at breeding new cheetahs that can be released back into the wild. Preferably into parks without lions! Visitors make this possible by paying an entry fee to see them and interact with  them.

It is my opinion that we as humanity should be able to care for one another and for the animals and the whole creation. At the same time! We all belong to together. We all sit in the same boat!

This Cheetah likes to lick my wife's hand.
And obviously she likes it too.

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