Animals in danger
Many animals are in danger of extinction because we are destroying the rainforests.
The Javan rhinoceros once lived in the rainforests of many countries: in the north of India, through Indo-China and south through Malaysia and the islands of Indonesia. But today there are only about one thousand of these animals in the world, some living in Vietnam and some living in the Ujung Kulon National Forest Park on the island of Java, where forest workers protect them.
Today, there are many forest parks in the rainforests of the world. Animals need large parks because some species have to travel many kilometres to find food. The Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda, for example, protects the mountain gorilla and saves it from extinction.
Some animals are in danger because people want them as pets.
Zoos in many countries of the world are helping to protect animals in danger. The golden lion tamarin comes from Brazil’s forest near the sea. The forest there is disappearing fast and people caught hundreds of these tamarins and sold them in pet shops. There were only a few left in the rainforest. But many golden lion tamarins were born in zoos, and scientists have taken some of them back to the Poco das Antas Forest Park near Rio de Janeiro.
Animals born in zoos know nothing about life in the rainforests. Someone must teach them how to find food and keep away from danger. Janis Carter teaches chimpanzees about life in the rainforest of The Gambia because they were born in zoos far away from the forest. In Borneo, scientist Birute Galdikas teaches young orangutans about life in the forest.