I paint endangered animals today because I have always been an advocate for conservation. Dr. Richard Carroll, the Vice President of Africa Programs for World Wildlife Foundation said "Glimpsing at a gorilla through the green veil of the jungle made me realize that if we cannot protect our closest relatives, then we have failed as a species." I sponsored a Save a Raptor, a bald eagle, in Alaska for a year. I sponsored a program to fit an elephant matriarch with a radio collar in Africa, and she led her herd back into war torn Congo to re-initiate herds proliferating again. Most of all, I have donated to the conservation programs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and am so proud of their efforts to save and reintroduce species again to the wild. So now I find joy in painting animals and bringing their plight to others because these animals are endangered and in danger of extinction in the wild.
Did you know that four elephants are poached every hour? There are only five white rhinos left in the world, and three reside in zoos. Tigers, which used to number around 100,000 in the wild, now number only 3200. The remaining 2,500 Bengal tigers are very endangered and live around India and Nepal. I was lucky enough to have seen one in the wild in Nepal on Safari and it was an amazing sight to behold! Pandas now number 1600 animals in the wild, although China, along with the World Wildlife Foundation has established 50 panda reserves. And gorillas, which share 98.3% of genetic code with humans are our closest relatives after chimpanzees and Bonobos, may disappear from the Congo Basin by 2020!