Haciendo visible lo invisible: Koalas y Cebras

Making the invisible visible: Koalas and Zebras

We share the world with an almost incalculable number of living beings. We live surrounded by wild and domestic animals, some invisible to our eyes and others that we fear because of their size and strength. We also do not know a large part of the beings with whom we coexist.

And yet, year after year, we lament the disappearance of numerous species that have been affected, in part, by the impact of the human footprint on their homes and themselves.

In today's post we talk about two species of animals that are at risk of disappearing. It is curious that each one belongs to an opposite corner of the world, and their situation is so similar.

Keep reading…


Gorra Koala- Hanukeii

The Koala, scientifically called Phascolarctos Cinereus is a mammalian animal endemic to Australia. Their areas of residence are located in the areas of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the South Australia area.

The Koala is a herbivorous species, its diet is based on eating eucalyptus leaves. A curious fact about these Australian mammals is that they sleep an average of 14 hours a day. Their average life expectancy ranges between 10 and 13 years, but if they live in captivity, they can reach 20 years of life.

However, some recent events have caused koalas to die much earlier than normal, and the population has also decreased on chilling scales. There is a conflict of theories about the real risk that Koalas face today. On the one hand, there are those who affirm that Koalas are going to disappear in a few years if drastic measures are not taken immediately, and there are those who, even though they are aware that the situation of this species is not optimal, assure that Koalas are not found in such abysmal danger.

The truth is that the Koala has several open fronts; Firstly, it must deal with the loss of its natural habitat: the eucalyptus forests, which are its home and food source. The disappearance of its environment is due, first of all, to the massive development of urbanization, the construction of roads and railways and deforestation. It is almost impossible to believe, but Australia appears as one of the countries with the highest deforestation rate in the world.

On the other hand, the serious fires that have occurred in the country in recent years have made a dent, in addition to the lives of Australians, in the lives of the koalas. Many have died in the flames, and others as a result of the incineration of their homes. Between 2019 and 2020, it is estimated that almost 6 million hectares of Australian forests were burned. Unintentional fires can be a consequence of the environmental problem we all face; more droughts, extreme temperatures, the increase of carbon dioxide in the environment...

In addition to these factors, we also find that Koalas also suffer from diseases. Specifically, they are affected by a bacteria that causes Chlamydia, which causes blindness, infertility, respiratory infections and can even lead to death.

It is clear that the current situation of Koalas is not ideal, however, they are not yet functionally extinct nor in serious danger of becoming so. But it is also necessary to stop the causes that make them vulnerable, if we want them to last over time.

At Hanukeii we are 100% committed to the fight to preserve a prosperous future for koalas. In our latest collection we have launched, in addition to our usual product, sunglasses, a run of caps that we are especially excited about. Following the aesthetics of baseball caps, we have designed several different models, and each one has a patch on the front, on the visor of the cap, that represents a non-domestic animal, and in the case of Koalas, in a vulnerable situation.


Gorra zebra - Hanukeii

Let's talk about Grévy's zebras: In the Samburu language they are called loiborkoram and if at any time they have seemed light to you, you are completely wrong; they are huge. The average weight of these animals reaches 450 kilograms. The zebra is the wildest animal of the equid species. The belly and the base of the tail are white. The function of these stripes is thought to be for social recognition, temperature regulation, or to create an effect that confuses predators.

Grevy's zebras are organized into small herds located dispersedly in order to graze homogeneously. Their main food source is grass and reeds, but when there is a shortage, they also resort to bark, fruits and roots.

They are equipped with peculiar ears that appear to be rounded if viewed from a distance, and their black and white stripes are fine and elegant. Its belly and the base of the tail, however, do not have the stripes. They're on white colour. Although there are those who claim that stripes fulfill a function of social recognition and defense against possible predators, this theory is not one hundred percent proven. They are imposing, beautiful animals. Their size and presence are overwhelming even for humans.

And they are in grave danger. Currently only 2,000 adult zebras remain in the wild. Its decline has become especially visible in the horn of Africa; in Northern Kenya and Ethiopia. The causes of its progressive extinction? The environment, hunting, competition with overgrazing of domestic livestock to find food sources and, of course, the law of the fittest; The main predators of zebras are the lion, the cheetah, the leopard and the hyena.

Since the end of 2008, severe droughts have hit the zebras' living areas, so the grass on which the zebras feed is withered and poor. Kenya's rivers have been completely dry for long stretches of time. Zebras have almost no access to water.

Seeing the seriousness of the situation, the association Grevy's Zebra Trust has developed a project to feed them. When there has been a particularly dry season, they have placed bales of hay along the paths that the zebras take to go to the watering holes in search of water. Hay is collected in wetter areas and placed in places where it is especially needed. 2017 was the year of the worst drought in a decade, and Grevy's Zebra Trust distributed about 3,500 bales of hay.

Although the action of this association is completely selfless and altruistic, it has generated some controversy around the question of whether it is correct to feed wild animals. The answer, under normal circumstances, is clearly negative. Is not correct; It can be argued that feeding a zebra reduces its level of wildness and, in part, increases its position as a “domestic animal.” Depending on humans can lead to a limitation of their freedom.

"Reducing the freedom of animals in this sense can be considered a kind of hubris, the human arrogance that tries to control everything that happens in the world," says Clare Palmer, philosopher and student of the ethics of interactions between animals. humans and animals at Texas A&M University.

It is true that the situation is very controversial, but, in reality, these animals are in a really delicate position and need help.

At Hanukeii we have not yet done a job like that of our colleagues at Grevy's Zebra Trust, but we are working on it. To begin with, we have also designed a cap model focused exclusively on highlighting the figure of the zebras so that they always remain in a visible point. And when things don't get out of sight, it's very difficult not to pay attention to them.

Zebras and koalas are just a couple of all the species that are at extreme risk. The caps are just the beginning of a movement that we hope never ends. Will you join us?