Save the babies!

Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, and this year’s campaign theme is Protect our Species.

Here’s a one minute promo from Defenders of Wildlife featuring a few endangered species.

It struck me that, while those videos are heart wrenching, they stop short of having the impact that inspires action. Perhaps something more up-close and personal might do a better job? That led to a quest to find great 360° videos of some beloved endangered animals.

For example, what could be more beloved than polar bears? Here’s a one minute’ish 360° video from Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic that briefly gets you close enough to pet one.

Did you catch a glimpse of that cute little cub?

Then YouTube kindly suggested that I might want to watch this non-360º two minute’ish video about a polar bear cub named Nora that was born at the Columbus Zoo.

How adorable! Nora’s story was also well documented and became a bit of a viral hit.
The Loneliest Polar Bear (Oregon Live)
The story behind the story of The Loneliest Polar Bear (Julia Shipley, Nieman Storyboard)

Find out more about polar bears and how to save them at World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Nora’s story inspired an even more extreme tactic. Why stop at up-close and personal videos of beloved animals when you can go even further and focus on 360° videos of lovable, huggable endangered babies!

The first stop on this mission was a 360° video from National Geographic that features giant panda cubs at China’s Cheng du Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

That’s just too cute, and educational, too!

You can find out more about giant pandas and how to save them at Panda’s International, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy.

That’s awesome, but let’s face it — humans relate best to animals that are most like them. Here’s a 360° visit to some orphaned baby orangutans at the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine supported by Orangutan Foundation International

You can find out more about orangutans and how to save them at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy.

There is one problem with all of this — not all animals that are endangered happen to be as adorable as polar bears, giant pandas and orangutans. For example, elephants are more stately than huggable, but they are in trouble too. Here’s a two minute’ish 360° visit to a baby elephant orphanage at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.

There’s more information about elephants and how to save them at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy.

Finally, there’s a larger issue. Animals shouldn’t have to be “special” in some way or another in order to be saved — all animals deserve protection. For example, hawksbill sea turtles aren’t all that charismatic, but their babies need to be saved as well. Here’s a one minute 360° video from the The Nature Conservancy about their efforts to save them.

Find out more about hawksbill sea turtles and how to save them at The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

I hope this inspired you to save some babies!

Here are some more links to where you can find out more about all of the species’ babies that are in trouble and what you can do to help.
Protect Our Endangered Species (Earth Day)
Protecting Wildlife for a Healthy Planet (World Wildlife Fund) (Directory)
Animals we Protect (The Nature Conservancy)

Find out more about animals our planet Earth