12th December 2018
‘Wow’ was the resounding sound the children made when I explained that chimpanzees are from the same family as us. Watching their little faces light up we chatted about how special chimpanzees are; that they use tools to get food and can walk on two legs but spend most of their time swinging in trees. One child asked if they’re like our brothers and sisters but I explained that they’re more like distant cousins. Imparting that we share 98.8% DNA with chimps is a bit too complicated for three and four year olds to grasp just yet!
The children were so eager for me to start drawing that they moved the white board onto the carpeted area – without being prompted – to get me to hurry up and crack on with the sketching. Habitat loss, poaching and sickness were the things we discussed around why these beautiful and fascinating primates are endangered.
Sharing the same continent as our ape cousins, lions – the magnificent symbol of Africa – are also endangered. Lion populations have plummeted by 40% in the last 40 years which is very sad. A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away – as far away as the nearest town – which was of great interest to the children as they continued to roar like lions for as long as they could after learning this fact.
Whilst drawing a big lion on the board two little boys were playing with animal figurines next to me so I asked which animal he was holding and he replied that it was a polar bear. I then went on to ask him where they lived and he stated the ‘Arctic’ and went on to tell me that they’re endangered. I responded by asking the other little boy standing next to him why this was the case and he turned to me and nonchalantly said, ‘it’s getting too hot in the Arctic’. Amazing. My workshops appear to be working; this comment literally made my week!