As a 20-year-old, it is hard to hear news such as this because I fear what other news related to extinction is to come throughout my life. Extinction is a natural occurrence, BUT the difference is that we as humans are speeding up that process due to the lack of respect we have for these precious creatures.
With the unfortunate death of Sudan, the last male Northern white rhinoceros on earth, it brings up questions such as what this will mean for the future of our ecosystem, other species of rhinos, and what we can do to make an effort in order to keep animals from extinction.
Like I said, extinction of this specific species was caused by humans- along with many other animals as well. Listed below are just SOME of the other types of animals that we as humans have killed off. Yes, this list is just of the animals that no longer exist from the past 20 years.
Pyrenean Ibex: Extinct in 2000
Baiji River Dolphin: Extinct in 2007
Caribbean Monk Seal: Extinct in 2008
West African Black Rhino: Extinct in 2011
Formosan Clouded Leopard: Extinct in 2013
When will it stop? The sadder question is, will it ever stop? I am not an animal conservationist or a zoologist, and I am going to guess that you are not either. So what role can we play in order to help other animals from going extinct for good? I am not going to give you the go around and say donate money here and there (although, donations are important!) but I think researching and growing in the knowledge of animals and their future is just as important. To be honest, this topic never really hit me until the headlines of the news were about Sudan.
Looking through the articles and reports of Sudan's final hours, there is a letter to Sudan from his caregiver, James Mwenda. If you don't get anything from this article, at least take the time to read his letter to Sudan. This letter is an eye opener in the sense that humans have a special connection with animals when we take the time to respect, care, and love them.
One statement from James letter really catches my attention when it reads, "a day when parents should take their kids out and teach them how and why we need to embrace the environment." This statement goes back to what it is that we can do as readers and writers, gain knowledge because ultimately, knowledge is power.
Don't let Sudan's death not be just another death of an animal but rather a lesson. Choose to help those who can not help themselves in the face of some humans who choose to disregard God's creations.
Genesis 2:15 - "Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it."