HOW DAISY LEARNED TO HELP WILDLIFE Daisy had always longed to help endangered species of wildlife. One day she woke up and found a flying carpet by her bed. “Where do you want to go?” it aske
d. Daisy responded immediately. “I’d like to see some endangered wildlife,” she said. “Please take me to a distant land where I can find the animal that gave fur to make this sweater.” At once the carpet flew away and took her to Tibet. There Daisy saw an antelope looking sad. It said, “We’re being killed for the wool beneath our stomachs. Our fur is being used to make sweaters for people like you. As a result, we are now an endangered species.” At that Daisy cried, “I’m sorry I didn’t know that. I wonder what is being done to help you. Flying carpet, please show me a place where there’s some wildlife protection.” The flying carpet travelled so fast that next minute they were in Zimbabwe. Daisy turned around and found that she was being watched by an elephant. “Have you come to take my photo?” it asked. In relief Daisy burst into laughter. “Don’t laugh.” said the elephant, “We used to be an endangered species. Farmers hunted us without mercy. They said we destroyed their farms, and money from tourists only went to the large tour companies. So the government decided to help. They allowed tourists to hunt only a certain number of animals if they paid the farmers. Now the farmers are happy and our numbers are increasing. So good things are being done here to save local wildlife.” Daisy smiled. “That’s good news. It shows the importance of wildlife protection, but I’d like to help as the WWF suggests.” The carpet rose again and almost at once they were in a thick rain-forest. A monkey watched them as it rubbed itself. “What are you doing?” asked Daisy. “I’m protecting myself from mosquitoes,” it replied. “When I find a millipede insect, I rub it over my body. It contains a powerful drug which affects mosquitoes. You should pay more attention to the rain-forest where I live and appreciate how the animals live together. No rain-forest, no animals, no drugs.” Daisy was amazed. “Flying carpet, please take me home so I can tell WWF and we can begin producing this new drug. Monkey, please come and help.” The monkey agreed. The carpet flew home. As they landed, things began to disappear. Two minutes later everything had gone-the monkey, too. So Daisy was not able to make her new drug. But what an experience! She had learned so much! And there was always WWF … ANIMAL EXTINCTION Many animals have disappeared during the long history of the earth. The most famous of these animals are dinosaurs. They lived on the earth tens of millions of years ago, long before humans came into being and their future seemed secure at that time. There were many different kinds of dinosaur and a number of them used to live in China. The eggs of twenty-five species have been found in Xixia County, Nanyang, Henan Province. Not long ago a rare new species of bird-like dinosaur was discovered in Chaoyang County, Liaoning Province. When scientists inspected the bones, they were surprised to find that these dinosaurs could not only run like the others but also climb trees. They learned this from the way the bones were joined together. Dinosaurs died out suddenly about 65 million years ago. Some scientists think it came after an unexpected incident when a huge rock from space hit the earth and put too much dust into the air. Others think the earth got too hot for the dinosaurs to live on any more. Nobody knows for sure why and how dinosaurs disappeared from the earth in such a short time. We know many other wild plants, animals, insects and birds have died out more recently. According to a UN report, some 844 animals and plants have disappeared in the last 500 years. The dodo is one of them. It lived on the Island of Mauritius and was a very friendly animal. Please listen to a story of the dodo and how it disappeared from the earth.