Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1 is International Primate Day

As I did last year, I want to celebrate International Primate Day, this September 1 and invite you to do the same.

Primates come in a lot of shapes and forms.  They live in many diverse countries and form societies with very specific rules.

When I mention to people that I spend my weekends caring for primates, I usually get two reactions: a smile or a grimace; yet everyone does ask questions and seems genuinely intrigued.  
I find it fascinating that most humans seem to be divided into those who respect primates and those who dislike them.  Seeing ourselves in primates can be a source of awe and wonder or a nasty reminder that we may not be as special as we would like to be.

International Primate Day is about awareness on the sad plight of a lot of primates in the world.
According to the IUCN report (2008-2010), there are 25 primate species currently on the brink of extinction - these include lemurs, gibbons, gorillas, bonobos, guenons and of course orangutans.

The major causes of primates disappearance are of human origin: deforestation, poaching and illegal lab animals and pet trade.

It is our duty to at least attempt to put a stop to it.
As advocates, we can educate children about these beautiful, intelligent, highly social animals.
In our daily life, we can strive to live greener and as Citizens of the World, we can influence companies to trade fairly, respect the environment and people in which they operate and we can influence legislators and governments around the world to take positive actions toward primate protection.

For my part, I would like to spread the word about primates and have children learn about them.
This is why, I am calling all school teachers to encourage their pupils to participate in a drawing contest.

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