Eye to eye with our world’s wildlife…
When you look into the eyes of an ape you see an intelligent, self-aware animal looking back at you. Appraising you. We don’t just descend from apes: we are apes. Like us, they make and use tools, work together, and form social groups in which they share and help others, even laughing with one another. They have strong family groups and distinct cultures.
The drastic need to conserve and protect of our Great Ape relatives is made more dire with every photograph of poachers, burnt rain forests and circus conditions – but it is not without hope.
Great White Sharks
The most feared creature in the ocean, perhaps the whole world, is the Great White Shark – but it is far more fearsome in our imaginations than in reality. As a group, sharks have been around for around 450 million years, meaning sharks have managed to survive the four mass extinctions that have taken place on Earth. It would be a tragedy if these charismatic apex predators should be lost now due to our actions; a loss that would surely reverberate through the wider marine environment with negative consequences for coral reefs and almost every other species of fish.
If charisma were an element like carbon or oxygen that could be measured accurately, then Koalas would be composed of 100 per cent charisma. No other animal combines cuteness, cuddliness, uniqueness and apparent placidity to the same extent. In some parts of Australia the Koala population is small due to loss of habitat, while in others the population is so dense that they run the risk of exhausting their food supply. Finding a precarious balance between these two extremes is something that scientists are still trying to master.