Indian Elephants. The beautiful creatures are highly intelligent and social animals and play a vital role in local human culture and local ecology. These giant creatures can live as long as humans and are highly developed socially and psychologically. They are endangered due to poaching for their valuable ivory tusks, as well as human infringement in their habitat.
Many would argue that it is incredibly immoral and destructive for humans to kill something so majestic and long-lived, just to profit off of a single body part. The remaining thousands of pounds of flesh are left to rot- an ecological travesty. These calm, sensitive, and, some would argue, artistic creatures should be valued for their part in the ecosystem, not brutally exploited.
The bonobo. These rare, peaceful apes have a very small population and compared to the chimpanzee, they were only recently discovered. Along with the chimpanzee, they are the animals most closely related to humans. For years scientists assumed human origins must have been violent like the chimp’s, but it’s equally possible we were peaceful and sex-loving, like bonobos. It’s important to understand the bonobo so that we can better understand ourselves -and to allow this incredibly intelligent animal to go on living in peace.
I agree wholeheartedly with the above two animal choices, and would add the blue whale. I think it’s often overlooked because it’s less often seen. They’re huge – up to 88 feet long and as heavy as 150 tons, and they give birth to equally huge babies, weighing as much as three tons. They’re also mammals, and like us can live to between 80 and 90 years. I just think they’re such amazing, silent, sort of majestic animals, and there’s so few of them left in the wild.
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