Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hunters kill one of last surviving Amur leopards

Further to my last post, I now sadly add this one as a classic example of how close we are coming to losing the most beautiful and awe inspiring creatures on the planet.

Hunters in Russia's Far East have shot and killed one of the last seven surviving female Amur leopards living in the wild, WWF said on Monday, driving the species even closer to extinction.

Last week environmentalists said there were only between 25 and 34 Amur leopards -- described as one of the most graceful cats in the world -- still living in the wild.

At least 100 are needed to guarantee the species' survival which depends upon female leopards breeding.

"Leopard murder can only be provoked by cowardice or stupidity, in this case most likely by both," Pavel Fomenko, WWF's biodiversity coordinator in Russia's Far East said in a statement.

A hunter shot the leopard through the tail bone. It tumbled over and was then beaten over the head with a heavy object, WWF said. Amur leopards have not been known to attack humans.

Environmentalists have urged the Russian government to introduce tighter controls on its national parks in the Far East to crack down on leopard hunting.

They also want more done to protect the animal's natural environment and food supply, which they say is being destroyed by human development.

A local wildlife watchdog received an anonymous tip-off that a leopard had been killed. State wildlife officers found the dead animal after a day of searching.

The leopard died three days after my last post.

I urge everyone to read my last post and take this message to heart. The time for leaving this issue to the goodwill of wildlife organisations has passed, it is time to recognise that the battle to save critically endangered species from extinction has been lost and the ONLY hope now, lies with our political leaders.

The current political thinking on this matter, is that the subject does not rank as important enough for them to do anything about it. Organisations such as WWF can be left to deal with the matter and if we lose the great animals of the world so be it, and this is exactly what is coming to pass.

Future generations will write volumes in condemnation of our current leaders for their wilful neglect of treasures so important, they have taken millions of years to evolve and can never be replaced.

It is imperative that we act now to open the eyes of our politicians before it is too late. They have to wake up and change their attitude now and give this issue the importance it deserves.

Yesterday it was announced that there are only 100 South China tigers left. How many people read that? not many I'm sure, as it would only qualify for an 'and finally' mention on the news if at all, the latest goings on in Hollywood or what minister should resign today being deemed much more newsworthy. What a self absorbed species we are.


At 5:58 pm , Blogger zeek said...

You know what my friend, what you are saying is tottally right.


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