I wonder …
I wonder if the brown bear knows
as he gathers peanuts from the floor
of his enclosure
how it feels to spend a winter
sleeping, snuggled close with others
in a cave
to waken when the warmth of spring
melts the pristine snow from high
to hunt among the scented pines
or snatch a salmon from the flow of cold
I wonder if the brown bear knows,
or if he ever dreams.
Today is the first UN-designated World Wildlife Day and from now on the day will be marked on March 3 each year.
The date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. While things have come a long way, there is still a serious problem with illegal trade at the cost of the lives of many animals and with risk to the survival of a number of species.
The implementation of World Wildlife Day aims to reaffirm the values of CITES, namely: “the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic to sustainable development and human well-being, and recognised the important role of CITES in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival.”
CITES and other bodies within the UN are working together to facilitate World Wildlife Day.