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bangkok zoo pangea

A vast, diverse range of animals once roamed this planet. 


The rise of humans and our landscapes upended this balance. 


At Bangkok Zoo, any animal from anywhere in the world can be anywhere at any time, and often are.


Outside Bangkok Zoo’s haphazardly laid perimeter zone however, things aren’t so rosy.


The closer you look, the worse it gets.


Over the last 100,000 years, wherever humans have arrived, wild animal populations plummeted. 


It started with direct competition – our ancestors hunted them for their meat.

In the post-agriculture world, in the last 10,000 years and at an ever-accelerating rate over the last 200 years, the impacts have also been indirect – habitat loss through expansion of our farmland and urban developments, habitat degradation from our pollution and the climate crisis, leading to the collapse of populations and widespread extinctions.


Today 62% of the global mammal biomass is livestock – animals raised by humans for our consumption.


Humans account for 34%, so we and our food represent 96% of all mammal life on Earth.


Only 4% is wild.1


Reptile species are similarly declining on a global scale. Studies highlighting habitat loss/degradation and environmental pollution as contributing factors find that a fifth of all species face extinction. 


Marine populations have crashed in all the world’s oceans, with the amount of fish in the sea decreasing by 50% since 1970, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 


For freshwater species that live in the world’s rivers and lakes, the estimated decline has been 83% in the last 50 years.


Insects are going quiet. They are so varied and abundant their accumulated mass outweighs humanity 17 times, but more than 40% of all insect species are declining and a third are endangered due to intensive agriculture and the effects of urbanization and climate change.2


A million animal and plant species currently face the threat of extinction, according to UN estimates.3

All signs point to us living right now through the world's sixth major extinction event

The fifth major extinction was the split-second calamity when an asteroid larger than Mount Everest slammed into Earth 20 times faster than a bullet.  If you were watching its arrival ‘it would have been a pleasant day one second and the world was already over by the next.’4


The climatic and environmental catastrophe wrought by humans in the last 10,000 years may be far slower than that, but the effect on the number of species going extinct is comparable.


If we keep going at this rate for another few hundred years there really won't be much left.

At Bangkok Zoo we promote biodiversity by donating a third of any profits to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).


We encourage you to wonder where these animals are in the wider world, where do they belong, and what the future holds as their homes are encroached by human landscapes.

1. Biomass Distribution on Earth:
2. WWF Living Planet Report 2022
3. IPBES Global Report:
4. ‘The Ends of the World’ by Peter Brannen, p. 188

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