Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ape Appreciation Yo

I just watched 'Gorillas in the Mist', which is a film based off of the journals of Dian Fossey, a researcher and conservationist of Mountain Gorillas. Watching the movie reminded me of the need and the interest I have in conservation. I think the first step is becoming more educated on it.
I took a Primatology class at the U of C in 2007. The first half of the semester was mediocre to lame-o and then the tides took a turn, my friends. Brian Keating, head of the Conservation department at the Calgary Zoo taught the second half of the semester. He is truly a great teacher. He makes students not just learn but love what they learn and want to practice and act upon what they learn. I learned that problems for endangered species isn't just because of poaching or pollution, the majority of the problem is land conservation. They can try to preserve as many of any given species as possible but what good does it do if they have no where to live, to reproduce, to eat their natural foods?
I never thought I was a monkey or ape person, as in I never thought about them in any given moment; however, everything changes when you learn about it. My favorite great ape is the mountain gorilla, followed by the orangutan. Two things I would like to experience in my life time are going to the Borneo orangutan preserve and to Rwanda to witness a gorilla family for a day (or more). :)
Learning about these animals has given me a new and unrealized appreciation for Heavenly Father's creations. They really are remarkable. I am in 'awesome wonder' with these animal. To think I previously couldn't even stand a domestic cat coming near me! Actually, I still can't stand cats coming near me (they seem a bit tricky) and while I'm at it, I'll add squirrels to the mix. They seems a bit edgey.
Joking and admittances aside, everyone at point or another is impressed by some diverse and exotic animal. I think the second part of that is also seeing things with a fuller perspective, that is seeing Heavenly Father's hand in everything. By doing this, we learn and appreciate them as one of His creations. In fact, when we acknowledge His hand in all parts of our life, it always gives greater understanding.
The Calgary Zoo has tonnes of opportunities and information on conservation. They're part of an accredited zoo program that makes it possible for them to breed with animals from other zoos instead of taking them from the wild. They are also committed to donating money and research for conservation around the world to protect endangered species in their natural habitat.
Other good places to look are:

These three webites were all created because of three women known as Leakey's angels. Louis Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, hired three women: Dian Fossey to study Gorillas, Jane Goodall to study Chimpanzees and Birute Galdikas to study Orangutans. Their work is what has saved these species to the present day.

1 comment:

Erika said...

my comment will be this...

i'm sad it wasn't an entire blog about squirrels. in fact, i think i might blog about squirrels and how i love them so.

ahh... squirrels. :)