Gecko ForestExplorers
Only after the last tree has been cut down;
Only after the last fish has been caught;
Only after the last river has been poisoned;
Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.
- Cree Indian Prophecy

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We Never Learned…

© Forest Ang

.........Who cares, after all, they are beasts.....

Wars after wars were fought. Mistakes after mistakes were made. Animal sanctuaries were decimated with the dead. Parks with animals were abandoned. Day after day, animals keep dying. And humans have not learned from it.

Early this year (2004), the rhinoceros’ population at their sanctuary in Pahang was wiped out. Johore Safari was a park that suffered the same fate that we had long forgotten. Our famous Botanic Gardens in Penang had kangaroos in the gardens as a gesture of cooperation between Adelaide and Penang, the twin cities. Then there were Orang Utan, bears and other animals in the mini zoo at the gardens too. They were all gone. All the animals were dead. Pulau Singa Besar, Langkawi, had an open zoo, which was shut down after the dead of many animals. And now they are rebuilding another one!. We never learned.

For dignity, for self gain, for publicity, for the economy of the country, they said we must protect by all means – our wildlife heritage. Protect our bird parks, protect our wildlife sanctuaries, and protect our tourism products. Build more of the parks and sanctuaries. Attract more tourists. Allocate funds and subsidies for the showcases. Of course the allocation usually came from the taxpayers’ fund. The animals were the wild beasts. Nothing from our pockets and nothing that can hurt our family and so that does not bother us. And so the victims shall be the animals. Who cares, after all, they are beasts! We never learned.

Each day if you visit zoos, pet shops, aquariums or even your household pets’ corner, you will find on every other day, a bird, an animal, a fish will die mysteriously. We buy more of the animals to replenish the dead. We seek and add more of the exotic animals to our collections. We worship greed. Animals that had not been in the tropical climate were being kept here (e.g. the penguins of Langkawi). More dead were expected as more animals are being shipped around the world. We never learned.

We went for holidays to find our pet dead when we arrived home. We forgot to feed our fish and they died. We fed too much food and they were dead. We forgot to clean the nest and the bird died of infection. We forgot to cage our pet bird and it became a meaty meal for the neighbor’s canine. The professionals in the zoos and animals sanctuaries could not guarantee the animals do not die. How about layman? The animals are best left in their natural habitat. But, we never learned.

If animals could talk and protest, they would call for an act that prosecutes humans for murder of their kind. Then only we will learn……

Come and join me to explore the forests and the jungles and to learn about wildlife in their natural habitats. See them in the wild rather than in the farms or sanctuaries.


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All photographs by Forest Ang unless mentioned.
No images or text may be used without written permission by author.

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