Friday, February 22, 2008

Giraffe? What's a Giraffe?

I'm on an animal kick lately. Maybe it's this seemingly endless winter and I need a warm fun day at the zoo with the kids. I love going to the zoo and watching the amazement of city kids seeing a goat or lamb or lion up close. Lambs are not all soft and fluffy, they're kinda nappy and smelly. Lions don't really ROAR, it's more like the Wizard of OZ lion's, rufffff.
Ain't nothing like the real thing baby.

Anyway I ran across this info on endangered species. I hate the whole idea of an entire species going away forever. Sometimes it's a natural thing, but most times it's us. Yeah, us humans, the destroyers.

On Endangered List: The giraffe population is teetering on the brink of extinction. More than 1,000 animals are on the U.S.'s endangered species list. I can't imagine the world without this leggy, beautiful creature.

On Endangered List: The small pygmy hippo lives in a forested area in West Africa. Its numbers are estimated to be dangerously low, at less than 3,000.

On Endangered List: Global climate change and general warming patterns, which are melting the polar bears' habitat, may cause the creatures to disappear within 100 years. This is totally our fault!

On Endangered List: In just 12 years, common hippos have gone from secure to vulnerable. Illegal hunting for meat and tooth ivory has decimated their population. Greedy humans strike again!

Some Good News.

Off Endangered List: In 2005, federal officials took grizzly bears off the list after the animals' numbers grew in and around Yellowstone National Park. Endangered species are not allowed to be killed or trapped by ranchers and hunters, except in situations when a human life is at stake.

Off Endangered List: The federal government announced Thursday that gray wolves will no longer be protected under the Endangered Species Act after their numbers increased sharply in the Northern Rockies following a 13-year restoration effort.

An estimated 1,500 wolves now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. That represents a dramatic turnaround for a predator that was largely exterminated in the U.S. outside of Alaska in the early 20th century.
Ranchers are not so happy about the restoration effort and they can't wait to get those wolves in their sites. They will be allowed to get busy shooting as soon as this fall.
However, an independent wolf biologist said he would be "shocked" if the animal again ends up on the endangered list.

"The last thing any of the states want is for wolves to be re-listed by the federal government," said Daniel Pletscher, director of the University of Montana's wildlife biology program. He added that tolerance of wolves has grown immensely since the species was nearly wiped out. Good for the wolf.

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