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Animal Guides Back from Extinction

Over the past week, there have been a surprising amount of news stories on animals, which were once thought to be extinct, now showing up. I can understand going into hiding to survive. So why are they now re-exposing themselves? What does it mean?

Last Wednesday, The New York Times reported that for the first time in nearly 100 years, there is “confirm[ed] existence of a black leopard in Africa, and the first in Kenya.”[1] Yesterday, the BBC reported on a “sighting of the Tengmalm’s owl believed to have been the first of the breed in Shetland in over a century.”[2] Today, Gizmodo reported that Wallace’s Bee, “the world’s biggest bee, once thought extinct, has been found alive” in native Indonesia after four decades of absence.[3] Also on February 21, USA Today published that a Fernandina Giant Tortoise, “believed to be extinct for a century, was found on Santa Cruz Island.”[4]

I don’t know about you, but this feels like an inordinate amount of animals in a short period of time reappearing as if it were a sign of something big to come. What could that be?

Our ecosystem is at a critical time right now and requires a united effort from around the world to save it. Have these animals come to help remind us of what might happen if we don’t act quickly, or are they here to join in the effort to save the planet? One could only wonder if a mammal, bird, insect and reptile — a representative cross section across nature — are the ones to lead the way.

I’m a firm believer in the reciprocal healing relationship with nature. If we heal nature, nature heals us. And we (the collective we as a human species) both are in need of some deep healing. My hunch is that this Black Leopard, Tengmalm’s Owl, Wallace’s Bee, and Fernandina Giant Tortoise are our guides to do so.

This also brings me hope. We’re like these animals, none of us are past saving. Each of us has a chance to rise again no matter how dire the circumstances may look to be.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on it. Why do you think they’ve reappeared?