World Wildlife Day: Meet the unsung heroes of planet Earth

Animals are also heroes when it comes to saving people and the planet.

Every year, we felicitate and honour people who have dedicated their lives to conserving wildlife and saving the planet. While they deserve their laurels and should be encouraged and celebrated, little is known about the animals who quietly save the planet and serve humans in their own unique way.

Here are some facts that will truly amaze you.

Whales help fight climate change

While the world continues to look for more technology to reduce carbon dioxide in our oceans and atmosphere, another solution could come as a huge whale-size surprise. One natural solution is to plant more trees. The other is to save whales.

It is believed that a single whale captures more CO2 in its lifetime than 1,000 trees. They also help the growth of phytoplankton, a marine alga that stores vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

Ducks are replacing toxic pesticides

While it may seem incongruous, farmers across the world, from France to Japan, have discovered that a hungry duck is more effective in pest control than harmful chemicals. 

The ravenous birds, once released among the crops, eat the insects and other pests and help save the crop. Perhaps, it is time other farmers took a ‘quack’ at this eco-friendly technique.

Rats can save lives

While the word rat has come to be associated with traitors and cowards, in reality, the little rodents are true heroes. They have a keen sense of smell and are intelligent enough to be trained to sniff out landmines in conflict zones.

In fact, rats are proven to be as, if not more, impactful as metal detectors. Using rats has also proven to be more economical than using dogs and equipment.

Rats have also helped in the reclamation of farmlands, previously unusable because of land mines dating back to the World Wars.

Trunks of hope

The elephant is known to be one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet. Besides being a major tourism magnet in the sanctuaries, they are also natural water diviners.

They can detect water well below the surface of the earth and dig for it with their trunks, which proves to be a great boon for other wild animals who endure extreme water scarcity in arid summer.

An eight-step approach to conservation

Octopi, among the most fascinating creatures in the ocean, are not only creative but are also expert recyclers. They scour the ocean for an assortment of debris, including metal, coconut shells, and glass containers, and use their tentacles to repurpose them to build their homes.

This not only cleans the ocean and helps save other marine lives, but it gives a whole new meaning to “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

Nature’s engineers fight climate change

Beavers — adorable looking creatures — have long been known for their ability to build dams that help them catch their food. However, what is not well-known is how these dams help reduce flooding, wildfires, regulate fish populations, and preserve freshwater reservoirs. All these ultimately help fight the damage caused by climate change. 

On this World Wildlife Day, take a moment to think of all the creatures who are saving us, and make a pledge to help save their lives.

Edited by Suman Singh