Animals, domesticated or wild, have been a source of awe and fascinations amongst the young and old. When I was younger, when the subject of animals was brought up into the conversation, the ones from the wilds of Africa automatically came into mind. How wrong I was. The whole world is one big zoo! Sadly, though. with current situation of our world environment, these animals are decreasing in numbers — fast! And we are, in one way or the other, contributing to it.
Animals have graced postage stamps for as long as I can remember so I was glad when Viridian announced the theme for this week. Stamps are great tools for disseminating information about the plights of the animals.
Here are my choices for this week. They are exotic animals and come from far, far away lands:
I have one stamp from Nigeria:
|Cross River Gorilla / Gorilla gorilla diehli. I would love to complete the four stamps in this series.|
In 2008, the Nigerian Post and the WWF, launched a special stamp featuring the Cross River gorillas. There are two species of gorilla, the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei) and western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). The Cross River gorilla, on the stamp above, belongs to the western gorilla species and is native to the Cross River area on the border of Cameroon/Nigeria, and is considered to be one of the most endangered primates (classified as critically endangered according to IUCN in 2008) and one of the rarest. Approximately only 300 left in the wild, and just one in captivity at the Limbe Wildlife Centre, Limbe, Cameroon. (Source) Very few have ever seen a Cross River gorilla. Most of the gorillas live outside the protected areas and the major threats to their survival are loss of habitat and poaching 🙁
Here’s another curious animal from Latvia:
|The European Pine Martens are related to the wolverines, otters, and weasels. The stamp is awesome, I love the colours!|
Pine martens are elusive mammals native to northern Europe and are characterised by their creamy, yellow throat bib and are about the size of a domestic cat or a house cat.
Pine martens are known for its beautiful soft fur that in the 1700s-1800s they became almost extinct because their pelts or furs were highly-valued goods because of its soft, luxurious feel. These were were used as a form of payment in the Middle Ages. Hunting martens still occur these days but, thanks to the increasing awareness on fur trade and laws protecting these animals, there is less demand for marten fur nowadays.