Did you know that in the United States alone, there are 496 species of endangered animals listed? And that worldwide, there are about a thousand more animals whose lives are in danger? These are not just numbers, mind you. These are issues that affect every living being on this planet, whether we are conscious of it or not. Perhaps one of the main causes for the endangerment of these animals is habitat destruction. Over the decades, man has been a little less considerate when it comes to expanding and construction. Sure, there are new roads being paved and new infrastructures being built. Still, at what cost?
In recent years, a lot of things have been done to help the environment recover from past mistakes. Laws have been enacted to protect various wildlife. Organizations have been set up to ensure that these laws are being put into good use.
Also, there are now places where endangered species can stay in the meantime. The San Diego Zoo, for example, has its Zoological Society of San Diego’s center for Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES). This is the largest zoo-based multidisciplinary research team in the world.
The zoo itself provides a lot of useful information to visitors and most importantly, kids. The zoo does not merely serve as a place of residency to animals but it also serves as an important vehicle of information and change. The management regularly hosts activities that will help everyone understand the world of animals more and even conduct seminars to further educate people about endangered species.
One of San Diego Zoo’s newest and most ambitious habitat is Joan B. Kroc’s Monkey Trails and Forest Tales. It serves as the naturalistic home to more than 30 species of African and Asian birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, some of the world’s most exotic and endangered wildlife. There’s even a huge ficus tree there that they call the Big Fig which is already 50 years old! Then, there’s the Polar Bear Plunge which houses four very adorable bears named Kalluk, Tatqiq, Chinook and Shikari. Of course, there are more exhibits just waiting to be discovered there.
Aside from the animals, the San Diego Zoo also boasts of a number of attractions including: a guided bus tour which covers about 75 percent of the whole zoo; the SkyFari Aerial Tram which looms over the treetops to the other end of the zoo; the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad and the ENTCO Wild Earth Safari Ride which allows you to explore the “wild.”
Right now, there really aren’t a lot of places where animals can seek refuge when compared to humans. Sometimes, we even take those places for granted. However, I think it would be a perfectly easy way of helping out the fight against animal extinction to at least pay these places a visit.
The San Diego Zoo is located on Zoo Drive in Balboa Park, just north of downtown San Diego along Park Boulevard.