the “uncanny valley” is a concept applied to computer animation where, if a model gets too close to being human, but isn’t quite close enough, people get weirded out and identify with them even less than they would a less-close likeness.

I have my suspicions that something similar may be occurring in conservation. The orangutan faces massive habitat loss due to deforestation and mining and death from hunting, just like most species in Borneo and Sumatra. However, just to show how cruel some humans can be, the mothers face death from hunting so their children can be sold as pets because they’re close enough to human to be really cute when babies. There are also stories of orangutans being kept as sex slaves for humans.

If this bothers you, check out orangutan.org.

Potto (Perodictus potto)

Your fiction talks of dimensions as other places, but you are wrong. You know of length, width and breadth. There’s also time, though your pitiful species is limited there. There are, however, others: Blerf, fnirf, and sglorf, the three other so-called spacial dimensions. There’s also thmop and yjilk, completing time’s triad.

It is typical of your arrogance to think that your perception of our world is complete. You see us as stupid and slow, completely oblivious to all we do elsewise and otherwhen. For three millenia, in how you measure time, we’ve been watching. We’ve been planning. We’ve been preparing. What you see is placidity is debate, development and experimentation.

It is the damage.

Only recently have you become aware of the damage you do and the death you deal, but you are limited. You see only what you cause where you perceive, remaining ignorant of the widespread devestation. You speak now, centuries too late, of endangered species. But what of the lost and leaking lands, polluted with your chemicals and fractured from your wars. What of the sky? Even with your limited senses, you must see it has changed. You must somehow sense the echoes, the ripples from the gaping craters just outside your perception. Even the oceans. You test them and find them warmer, more acidic. You don’t see them cut, bleeding, lacerated by your tankers, poisoned by your spills.

We can wait no longer. Our army is formed. Our plans are made. Spend your final hours making your peace.

We are coming through.

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Kea (Nestor notabilis)

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There are only between 1,000 and 5,000 kea in the world. The only place (outside of a few zoos) that you can see them is in the mountains of New Zealand. Yes, where Sauron lives. Not only did they have to contend with widespread eradication by the New Zelanders (who have since changed their ways) and suffer from lead poisoning, they also must be constantly on guard against orcs and giant spiders.

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