WWF needs your help to restore the balance of nature.
New Zealanders are beginning to emerge from our COVID-19 lockdown, but there is no sign of freedom for thousands of tigers around the world.
In fact, there are some 5,000 tigers in captivity in the U.S. alone. While only an estimated 3,200 tigers remain in the wild. The popularity of a recent TV show brought to light some of the devastating truths that surround the illegal tiger trade. If they’re lucky enough to grow past the “cute cub photo opportunity” phase, tigers bred in captivity can spend up to 22 years in a state of lockdown. Numerous studies reveal that a life in captivity leads to severe psychological stress, infertility, and various other health conditions.
But the problem is much bigger than this.
COVID-19 has been a stark reminder that our world is out of balance. WWF’s report ‘The Loss of Nature and Rise of Pandemics’ shows the links between human activity and the spread of zoonotic diseases. These activities such as deforestation, habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade, high-risk food markets, factory farming, and urbanisation are just some of the reasons we have seen diseases like SARS, Ebola, AIDS, and bird flu spill over into the human population.
Over the past few weeks, Kiwis have gained a new insight into what life is like for tigers living in captivity. Our lockdown inspired the new campaign which aims to raise awareness and funds to restore the balance between people and nature which includes putting a stop to the illegal wildlife trade.
Says Livia Esterhazy, WWF-New Zealand CEO, “This tactical campaign launches our latest platform, Restore the Balance. Through this platform, we aim to educate Kiwis on just how reliant we are on nature. Over the past few decades, humans have come into closer contact with wildlife. This is now occurring at an unprecedented scale thanks to deforestation and habitat destruction, the illegal wildlife trade and high-risk food markets. This is creating the conditions that allow diseases that pass from animals to humans to become ever more common. The COVID-19 lockdown is the perfect time to start talking about this issue and engaging Kiwis to help us restore the balance with nature.”
To learn more about how you can help WWF restore the balance of nature and end the illegal wildlife trade, visit: wwf.org.nz