Activist bites back at dead leopard posts
An environmental activist has criticised netizens for dismissing the recent death of an Indochinese leopard, saying the killing was tragic because the species is so rare and important to nature.
The criticism was in response to many comments on social media questioning why the death of the leopard in a wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province on Feb 4 was such a big deal when tens of thousands of livestock are slaughtered every day.
“People don’t understand that such animals are important. They keep natural habitats and biodiversity in equilibrium,” said Saranarat Kanjanavanit, founder of the Green World Foundation.
She was speaking at a seminar on endangered animals at Chulalongkorn University.
Ms Saranarat cited a case in Yellowstone National Park in the United States where wolves were re-introduced after they were obliterated by hunting 70 years ago.
“Deer became the dominant species in Yellowstone as wolves used to keep their population in control. Their numbers grew so large they ate all the foliage and patches of grass to the point where the landscape looked bare” Ms Saranarat said.
“Once the vegetation went, floods ensued and the park became like a wasteland. After reintroducing the wolves, everything came back to life,” Ms Saranarat added.
Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Psychology academic Sompote Eiamsupasit said hunters going after endangered wildlife is a problem that will persist.
“I wouldn’t want to give people false hopes, but ending the hunting of endangered animals is a utopian approach to the world’s realities,” he said.