Friend an animal on Facebook, help science
Have you ever had a Whale Shark for a Facebook friend? Now you can. Stumpy, a whale shark who lives off the coast of Western Australia, is one of 5000 whale sharks you can be friends with on Facebook. This is possible through the efforts of nature-lovers over at ‘Wild Me’, a non-profit that takes information from biologists, and creates Facebook profiles for different animals.
Animals may not know how to like or comment or god forbid, poke you, on Facebook, but this simple project lets them connect to us in a modern way. Through this project, we can learn more about ongoing research and conservation efforts. More importantly, it allows us to humanize them as individuals with personalities and lives that should not be taken for granted.
‘People want to be engaged in conversation, but they get disillusioned when they just sign a petition or donate money and never hear anything on the topic again’, biologist Andrea Marshall tells The Washington Post. ‘Getting updates on what an animal is doing or what researchers have learned from it will make participants feel involved and connected’.
Wild Me has also launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise more funds, so that they can get more species, like cheetahs and wild dogs, on the social networking site.