Przewalski’s Horse

Przewalski Horse

In the Chinese calendar, 2014 is the Year of the Horse. People born in horse years are innovative communicators, clever, cheerful, and are triumphant in what they do. (Sam, you are a Rooster and your next “Year” will be in 2017.) I bring this up because the Przewalski Horse is indigenous to Central Asia.

However! It is extinct in the wild due to hunting, interbreeding with domesticated horses, the regular things that humans do to make animals extinct. However! There are about 1,500 P. Horses in captivity and they are being reintroduced into the wild again to graze the windswept steppes of central Asia. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute successfully bred a foal through artificial insemination, which gives hope to increasing herd numbers. Go SCIENCE!

The real question is, “How do you pronounce Przewalski?” (The name of the Russian explorer who “discovered” the breed.)

shuh-VAL-skee 

Still unsure of the pronunciation? Just use ‘P. Horse.’ It is acceptable among smart people and people who can’t pronounce Polish.

Endangered

Fossa

Fossa

 

I’m not sure what it is about the island of Madagascar. It has so many interesting species of animal which are exclusive to their island. Plus those  cartoon movies featuring talking animals. Not too shabs.

Anyway, lets get back to the fabulous Fossa.

The Fossa, although it resembles a cat, is actually related to the Mongoose (so already, you know this animal is tough). On average, they grow to be about 24 – 32″ long and that is NOT counting their tail; which is the same length of their bodies. Their long tails help them balance while jumping from tree to tree. Something else that helps them in the trees? Slightly webbed feet and retractable claws.  Duck/Cat/Mongoose.  WHAT??????!!!!

If you are a Lemur and you see a Fossa, it’s probably the last thing you’ll ever see. The Fossa is a super amazing hunter and has a total hankering for Lemur meat. If a Fossa wants to eat your furry face off, I hope you’ve done everything on your bucket list, cause you gonna die.

Unfortunately, like so many animals we talk about, the Fossa is endangered because humans are big fat jerks and have deforested their habitat.  Farmers  also hunt Fossa to protect their livestock. I know that it’s nice to try and protect animals from being eaten, but the Fossa was their first! Oi. I don’t have all the answers to the world’s problems. But I do have a question, “Can’t we all just get along?”

 

Red Panda

Red Panda

What do you get when you mix a cat, a raccoon, a panda(?), and a wheelbarrow full of CUTE? Dat is wight. A wittle wittle wed panda. Srlsly, dees itty bittle faces are so umpy bumpy cuteypants. It’s wediquwous. 

The Red Panda is known by various names in Asia (where it “immigrated” from) such as the “Lesser Panda” (which I feel is unfair and unreasonable), the “Red Cat-Bear” (thanks, Captain Obvious), and my favorite the “Fire Fox.” The Red Panda is a nocturnal and omnivorous animal. They live in cold mountain climates and keep warm by using their BUSHY WUSHY STRIPEY tails as a pashmina and wrap themselves up. They also like to play Mahjong and listen to spoken word beat poetry.

Oh. And of course, like all cute animals who don’t kill for fun, they are considered vulnerable on the IUCN conservation list. Once again, deforestation threatens to make these unique and ADORABLE animals extinct in the wild.

Come on, people, let’s get our acts together.

Grevy’s Zebra

Grevy's Zebra

There are three species of zebra. The one with the largest ears, thinnest stripes, and Frenchest name is the Grévy’s zebra.  And like the French, they have an attitude. One reason for the ‘tude is they are endangered due to hunting and habitat loss. And really, that’s the only reason that matters.

Each Grévy’s zebra, like all zebras, has a distinct pattern of black stripes, which allows their friends to figure out who they are in a crowd. Many an awkward situation has been avoided because of these individualistic markings, mostly between male and female herd members. They have style, class, and a great sense of humor.