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  • Diana Littlejohns

It Appears to be Working

‘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 fascinating 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 98.5% 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 whiteboard onto the carpeted area - without being prompted - to get me to crack on with the sketching. Habitat loss, poaching and sickness were the things we discussed around why these beautiful 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 forty percent in the last forty years, which is very sad (https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/wildlife/african-lions).

A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away (https://www.hiddenhearing.co.uk/blog/2018/top-10-loudest-animalshttps://www.hiddenhearing.co.uk/blog/2018/top-10-loudest-animals) – 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 went on to ask him where they lived, and he stated the ‘Arctic’ and told me they’re endangered. I responded by asking the other little boy standing next to him, why this was the case, and he casually said, ‘it’s getting too hot in the Arctic’. Amazing. My workshops appear to be working; this comment made my week!

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