Wild Animals

Is it important to protect wild animals? Should children learn things about animals? In which country do you think you can see wild animals?
Vocabulary
  • Distinguished (adj.) - respected and admired for excellence.
  • Camouflage (noun) - the way that the colour or shape of an animal or plant appears to mix with its natural environment to prevent it from being seen and attacked.
  • Grub (noun) - an insect in the stage when it has just come out of its egg.
  • Melancholic (adj.) - expressing feelings of sadness.
  • Trapped in (phrasal verb) - kept in.
  • Habitat (noun) - the natural environment in which an animal or plant usually lives.
  • Captivity (noun) - the situation in which a person or animal is kept somewhere and is not allowed to leave.
  • Biodiversity (noun) - the number and types of plants and animals that exist in a particular area or in the world generally, or the problem of protecting this.
  • Endangered species (adj.) - animals or plants that may soon not exist because there are very few now alive.
  • Applicable (adj.) - affecting or relating to a person or thing.
  • Poach (verb) - to catch and kill animals without permission on someone else's land.
  • Termite (noun) - a small tropical insect that eats wood.
  • Breadth (noun) - the fact of including many different things, features, subjects, or qualities.
  • Wild-goose chase (noun) - a search that is completely unsuccessful and a waste of time because the person or thing being searched for does not exist or is somewhere else.
Questions and answers
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M: What's your favorite wild animal?

R: I'm a big fan of tigers. They're quite distinguished, aren't they? I really like their camouflage stripes as well. So much so in fact I have a tiger tattoo.

M: Have you ever seen any wild animals?

R: Oh, lots there are crocodiles and snakes in Ghana. I think the snakes were cobras actually. And there were giant spiders and grubs, and sharks and whales in Fiji. Reef sharks I think in Fiji, actually. And then I think eagles in America when I was much younger, my memory is a bit fuzzy.

M: Do you like watching animals in the zoo?

R: It's definitely safer than watching them in the wild for sure. And you can enjoy the view and being close to them. Sometimes it's a little melancholic, though, and you see them almost trapped in there. Of course, the alternatives are much worse, I suppose.

M: Where can you see wild animals?

R: Come to our Podcourse recordings, lots of wild animals there. Em, well in the wild In short, but more specifically in their natural habitats like in the oceans or on the reefs, for sharks, and in the jungle for tigers. More often than not, you see them in captivity like zoos or aquariums. Some animals are even monitored from orbit, I think. If you're a real adventurer, then you can go to the jungles, rain forests, and other untouched places of the world to see them.

M: Is it important to protect wild animals?

R: Well, insofar as it's important to protect anything or anyone from unnecessary harm. They're useful from a biodiversity perspective as well. Some endangered species need more care than others. For some wild animals, it's probably enough just to have laws against harming well harming them. And those are applicable to most situations. Others, like rhinos, for example, need, like protection from poaching, like, well, they have anti-poaching groups there.

M: Should children learn things about animals?

R: Ah, absolutely. Animals are incredibly interesting and can teach us a lot about the natural world. They even aid in their own problem-solving. For example, I think that termites use a kind of air conditioning, part of which is implemented in building design nowadays.

M: Did you learn something about wild animals at school?

R: Well, not as much as I would have liked. I think we did a bit on the rainforests and the habitats of wild animals. And but we never wrote about or studied them in great detail. And that's the thing about Scottish education, we have a lot of breadth and not much depth. It's a shame actually, because I quite like subjects like biology, and I had a few books on it at home. Although, I suppose that made up for this deficit at school.

M: In which country do you think you can see wild animals?
R: Well, a lot of people go on safari in South Africa, don't they? And that seems like a good starting point. Somewhat less common are tours of the Amazon in Brazil. And there's like a bite in Australia that's rich in wildlife too.

M: Thank you for your wild answers.

R: Hopefully, none of them lead people on a wild-goose chase.
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