World Animal Day
Did you know that a cow’s “moo” has a different accent depending on what region they originate from? Or that bats always turn left when they fly out of a cave? Zebras are actually white with black stripes, not the other way around. And flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down! Here’s another head scratcher: a duck’s quack never echoes, anywhere, and nobody knows why! These are just a few of the million amazing animal facts – facts that prove just how amazing animals are – and how their presence on this planet enriches our own life.
Every day, natural resources are being misused, wetlands and forests are being destroyed for new cities to be built, and habitats are being fragmented for roadways. Harmful species are being introduced into ecosystems they do not belong in, and illegal wildlife trade and poaching are wiping out entire populations of animals. It’s estimated that nine percent of all species become extinct every million years. In other words, between one and five species go extinct every year. This rate of extinction has sped up five times in the Earth’s history. A mass extinction was last seen in full sixty five million years ago when the last of the dinosaurs became extinct.
World Animal Day was started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species.
October 4 was chosen as World Animal Day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Since then, World Animal Day has become a day for remembering and paying tribute to all animals and the people who love and respect them. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
Since the official World Animal Day website was launched by Naturewatch UK on 4 October 2003, the number of events taking place throughout the world has increased year upon year.
The aim of the World Animal Day initiative is to encourage everybody to use this special day to commemorate their love and respect for animals by doing something special to highlight their importance in the world. Increased awareness will lead the way to improved standards of animal welfare throughout the world.