I have to admit I've not really been a fan of zoos in general, I'm not sure about the animals in cages thing. However I never realise how important they are in the conservation of so many animals. It wasn't until Perth Zoo asked us to do a Future Shelter for Perth Zoo badge range that I really learned all about what they do to save endangered species.
After drawing tigers many many times for kidswear it wasn't until I started researching into Sumatran Tigers for the drawing the illustrations that I realised there were only around 400 left. We have lost 97% of the tiger population this century with only around 3,200 left across all the subspecies.
This was such a shock to me as when you think that there are way more images of tigers than real-life tigers. What are we going to say to our kids when we have to explain that the tigers died out in our lifetime especially after we made them wear tiger costumes, tiger t-shirts and read them so many story books about tigers? An the same goes for so many jungle animals we've grown up with through our childhood.
I then had to research all the other endangered animals and was shocked to learn how many creatures are on the brink of becoming extinct, including our very own Numbat who has lost most of its territory due to landclearing. And it's not just all about loosing the major rainforests but all the last remaining pockets of forests in our local areas. We all need to be aware of where our paper comes from, choosing Forestry certified suppliers and recycled where possible. When buying furniture make sure you are not buying a piece of valuable rainforest OR local forest - as long as we keep buying it, they will keep chopping it down. Believe it or not IKEA is one of the leading major companies working with the WWF to only use wood from approved sources.
You can adopt a tiger and many other animals via the World Wildlife Fund or Perth Zoo also have an adopt a tiger program.
On a lighter note, I also drew some Little Penguins of which are not endangered but important all the same and very cute. In WA you can see them on Penguin Island near Rockingham.