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With as few as 45 adults remaining in the wild – the Amur leopard is probably the rarest and most endangered big cat in the world. The Amur leopard is a nocturnal creature that lives and hunts alone. Its unique coat – which has widely spaced rosettes with thick black borders – makes it easy to distinguish from other species of leop-

ard. In the summer its coat is short, but in the winter it’s thick– with hairs up to 7cm long to help keep it warm during the harsh Siberian winters. Habitat destruction, degradation and poaching of Amur leopards and their prey are persistent threats – and the future of this species is uncertain. The Amur leopard is critically endangered.

The magnificent lion is a symbol of Africa. Lions are currently found in much of sub-Saharan Africa, with key populations in protected areas in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. Lions are the most sociable of all big cats. They live in groups called prides, which usually consist of related females and their cubs, and dominant males that fight to maintain breeding rights. Lions are powerful and majestic, but they’re incredibly vulnerable to loss of habitat and conflict with people. About 30,000-35,000 African lions remain in the wild today. Numbers have plummeted by around 30% in the past 20 years, and over 40% of their key populations are in decline. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies them as ‘vulnerable’ on its red list.

There are two species of African rhino – the white and the black. Despite their names, both are the same dark grey-brown colour. It’s thought that the name ‘white rhino’ is a misinterpretation of the Afrikaans word ‘wyd’, referring to its square upper lip. Black rhinos have hooked lips. Most African rhinos are found in just four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya – where they mainly roam grassland and open savannah. These armoured giants are vegetarian and need to eat large amounts of food every day. Poaching for their horns is still the greatest threat to African rhinos today. In South Africa, rhino poaching has risen to worrying new levels since 2007, after falling to much lower numbers during the previous 20 years.

ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE 22,000 African elephants were estimated to be killed by poachers for their ivory in 2012. The illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to the survival of some of the world’s most threatened species. In fact it’s second only to habitat destruction as a cause of loss for many species. That’s why tackling illegal wildlife trade is such a vital and urgent part of our work at WWF. There’s been an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade across the world in recent years, which is threatening to overturn decades of conservation successes, especially for key species like rhinos, elephants and tigers. In 2007, 13 rhinos were killed for their horns by poachers in South Africa, but that increased to a shocking 1,004

in 2013. That equates to three rhinos being poached per day 22,000 African elephants were estimated to be killed by poachers for their ivory in 2012. Most of that is happening in Central Africa where poaching rates are twice the continental average. Left unabated, we could see the extinction of elephants in Central Africa in our lifetime There may be as few as 3,200 wild tigers left in the world and the illegal trade is one of the biggest threats to their survival. Between 2000 and 2013, the parts of at least 1,537 tigers were seized in Asia.

wild animal to pets link - how you would’t treat a dog like that

Some animals are abused for the sake of entertainment as in sled dog tourist attractions, greyhound racing and dog fighting. Other abuse is hidden from view by animal hoarders who have more pets than they can handle and horse traders who transport horses across our borders for slaughter. The commonality in all of these abuses is that the animals begin life with the potential to become beloved family members but instead are used by humans for personal or professional profit.

Animal Testing Hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in outdated product tests for cosmetics, personal-care products, household-cleaning products, and even fruit juices. Although more than 1,100 companies have banned all animal tests forever, some corporations still force substances into animals’ stomachs and drip chemicals into rabbits’ eyes. These tests are not required by law, and they often produce inaccurate or misleading results, even if a

product has blinded an animal, it can still be marketed to you. As a consumer, you have a lot of power to help put an end to animal testing. By purchasing cosmetics and other products that are not tested on animals and by supporting compassionate charities, you send a powerful message to corporations and organizations that they will not receive your hard earned money as long as they continue conducting inhumane tests on animals.

Virtually every available Medical Treatment today has, to some degree, involved animal testing. The animals themselves may be bred specifically for testing or they may be captured in the wild. There are also commercial establishments that sell animals specifically for use in animal testing facilities. Animals are considered to be similar to humans in terms of assessing safety, which means that there are Strict Requirements for testing on animals with regards to new drugs. In the UK, for example, a new drug must have been tested on two different species of live mammal. However, those who are opposed to animal testing and view it as an unnecessary infliction of suffering cite that the stress an animal experiences will impact the accuracy of the results, rendering them useless. For now, however, animal testing is required before drugs and some other products are available for consumer use.