SAIL Pathfinder Club member reports on endangered and threatened animals.
Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) [IUCN Status: Vulnerable]
Cheetahs are amazing animals. They can run faster than a car and goes 70 miles per hour. Cheetahs have short fur; t is tan with round black spots measuring from 2-3 cm. across. Most cheetahs live in Africa and southwestern Asia. The cheetah is a carnivore eating mostly mammals under 40 kg (88 lb). I went to the zoo and saw a cheetah. It was beautiful. It was on its back playing with a bee in its paws. There are so many things you can learn about the cheetah.
Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) [IUCN Status: Vulnerable]
The komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large species of lizard found on the islands of Indonesia, specifically Komodo, Gila Motang, Rinca, and Flores. These monitor lizards are the heaviest species of lizard. They are the top predator of their area with their sheer brute strength and bacteria filled saliva that, with their shark like teeth can hunt deer, carrion, smaller lizards, water buffalo, pigs, humans and even their own young. They grow up to 10 feet and weigh up to 300 pounds.
Komodo dragons have flat heads and round snouts, huge muscular tales and scaly skins. Komodo dragon females can bear young without mating with a male and have a keen sense of smell to find corpses. These dragons can eat up to 80% of their body weight in a single meal! Sadly, these animals have become endangered due to natural disasters, poaching, human expansion, and infertile eggs. Seeing these lizards in the fort worth zoo was incredible in their amazing habitat; M.O.L.A. and were hard to see even though they're such a large animal, due to camouflage in their exhibit. The komodo dragon are intimidating yet unbelievable creatures and it was great to see them in real life.
Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. sumatrae) [IUCN Status: Endangered]
The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of tiger in the world. They are endangered and there are only about 500 thought in the wild. Sumatran Tigers are found native on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In Sumatra they are the top predator and have no natural or known enemy besides humans hunting them for their beautiful fur. Unlike their relatives the Sumatran Tiger can move easily through it's habitat and can swim better with it's slightly webbed feet. Instead of using a more direct way of hunting like the other tigers, this tiger takes a more silent and steady approach towards their prey. When the prey least expects it the ready tiger strikes. This creature made from god is a beautiful deadly animal. Humans destroy these animals by deforestation and hunting them so that they can sell their fur coats. We can save these animals by stopping our human doings that damage the Sumatran Tiger's habitat and also themselves.