This catchphrase has become a bit of an in joke with friends, and is in homage to the very wonderful Ray Mears a bushcraft and survival expert. It seems that whenever out foraging in the wild on one of his television programs, unpalatable looking bugs or reptiles always seem to taste like chicken.
In all of Ray’s vast travels to wildernesses around the globe, whilst he may have seen many wild creatures it’s highly unlikely he will have seen one of these Amur Leopards roaming free. With less than 40 individuals left currently in around only 5000 km² these elusive and solitary creatures have been classed as Critically Endangered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) .
I often hear people say they hate seeing creatures in zoos, and I agree there may be a number of zoos who may not offer satisfactory conditions for their animals but certainly all the UK zoos I’ve visited make great efforts to ensure the health, happiness and welfare of their menagerie of creatures.
There is another angle to this as well; with a number of creatures becoming extinct in the wild, it’s only been through the captive stock that the continuation of each species has been ensured. In turn many of these have been used to repopulate the original habitat, in fact if it were not for such captive breeding programmes there would no longer be any wild Arabian oryx, red wolves, California condors, golden lion tamarinds, Blue Iguanas, the wonderful kakapos and of course Bali Starlings as I’ve written about before, to name but a few.
So, long may these initiatives continue, and with solid action rather than discussion we may well sustain what little wildlife we have left…. Conservation, not conversation.