Global, 4 October 2023 (TDI):  World Animal Day, an annual global event celebrated on October 4th since 1925, is dedicated to advocating for animal rights and welfare, with the aim of ending unnecessary suffering among animals.

This year, the theme is “Great or Small, Love Them All,” emphasizing the promotion of animal rights worldwide and the recognition of animals as sentient creatures with feelings and individual personalities.

The day encourages awareness and education about animals, prompting people worldwide to participate in various ways, including organizing fundraisers, donation drives, and educational sessions, all in support of animal protection.

This awareness day also sheds light on the pressing animal welfare crisis, particularly in factory farms where billions of land and aquatic animals endure suffering.

The ultimate goal is to transform the global food system into one that respects both animals and the environment.

World Animal Protection is actively working to end the exploitation of elephants for entertainment and transition venues to be more elephant friendly.

Additionally, the organization is committed to protecting tigers, whether in captivity or in the wild, and advocating for responsible whale and dolphin watching to ensure their well-being.

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Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) has also taken to Twitter to encourage and rally people in Pakistan to actively participate in the welfare of animals.

This aligns with the broader global effort to advocate for animal rights and welfare on World Animal Day and beyond.

Today, on World Animal Day, a silent art protest was scheduled to take place outside Karachi Zoo to show support for Rano, a Himalayan Brown bear held in captivity.

Rano’s story is one of being taken from her natural habitat as a cub and spending her entire life confined to a cage at the zoo.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about Rano’s dire situation and advocate for her relocation to a bear sanctuary where she can finally experience a more humane and natural life.

The 2022 Living Planet Report

The 2022 Living Planet Report underscores a concerning global trend, wildlife populations have drastically declined by an average of 69% since 1970, largely due to unsustainable human activities.

This alarming situation is reflected in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, which identifies over 41,000 species currently threatened with extinction.

Within this grim scenario, some of the world’s most endangered animals stand on the brink of survival. The Javan rhino, once widespread in Southeast Asia, has suffered a devastating population decline due to hunting and habitat loss.

Javan rhino

Today, a mere 75 individuals remain, exclusively on Indonesia’s Java Island.

Another critically endangered species, the Amur leopard, faces a precarious future with only about 100 individuals remaining. These leopards are confined to a small region in the far east of Russia and northeastern China.

Their survival is threatened by habitat loss, prey scarcity, and the encroachment of transportation infrastructure.

The Sunda Island tiger, also known as the Sumatran tiger, is the smallest tiger subspecies, with an estimated 600 individuals in the wild on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island.

Rapid human population growth in Southeast Asia has led to habitat destruction, increasing human-tiger conflicts, and the ongoing peril of poaching and illegal trade.

Sunda Tiger

Mountain gorillas, a subspecies of the eastern gorilla, inhabit high-altitude forests in Central Africa.

Despite facing political instability and human encroachment, they have shown signs of recovery, with just over 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild. However, numerous threats still endanger their existence.

The Tapanuli orangutan, classified as a distinct species in 2017, is critically endangered, with fewer than 800 individuals residing in Sumatra’s Batang Toru ecosystem. Habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and development is the primary threat to their survival.

Tapanuli orangutan

The Yangtze Finless Porpoise stands as the sole freshwater porpoise in the world, residing in China’s Yangtze River.

Classified as critically endangered, these porpoises face challenges from environmental degradation, overfishing, and water pollution, with sightings of freshwater dolphins becoming increasingly rare.

Finally, the Black rhino, after suffering dramatic population losses due to large-scale poaching between 1960 and 1995, has seen some recovery efforts.

However, they remain critically endangered, with approximately 5,630 individuals primarily found in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The ongoing threat to their survival remains poaching for their valuable horns, which fuels the illegal rhino horn trade.

Conserving and saving animals involve supporting reputable conservation organizations, educating oneself and others about endangered species and their threats, advocating for sustainable practices in various industries.

Furthermore, promoting responsible tourism, adopting a sustainable lifestyle to reduce ecological footprints, and advocating for stronger environmental laws against activities like poaching and habitat destruction.

These efforts are crucial to protecting wildlife and preserving biodiversity for the benefit of current and future generations.