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Children Bring Storks Into the World - English

Children Bring Storks into the World

Text and illustrations: Ran Levy-Yamamori

An amazing true story about the extinction of the Oriental White storks in Japan due to bad management of the farming methods, using poisonous chemicals, and a great story of how children helped to reintroduce them back to the wild after decades!

All over the world a story is told to children, that “storks bring them into the world.”

However, here is an incredible and inspiring TRUE story, of one special place, Toyooka in Japan, where children actually helped to bring back the storks back to nature, after they had become extinct!

A wonderful lesson for us all.

In the last 30 years, I had been able to travel around the world and to visit many environmental projects and had been involved in many nature and environmental education projects as well: saving endangered species of wildlife, plants and habitats. Most of them were initiated and managed either by scientists or by enthusiast activists.

When I first visited Toyooka's Storks breeding center, sometime before the terrible Typhoon that flooded the whole area in 2004, I was very skeptic about the success of a release of the storks. Pesticides were still widely use, and the whole area was not ready yet for the storks to come back.

But then, I visited Toyooka about 5 years later, I was truly shocked.

It was my first time to discover that the change can be made even by children.

It was autumn, all the mountains were inflame with red, orange yellows, the storks were wandering in the river banks and freely flying majestically from one rice field to another. I was amazed and so happy! When I was told that the local children initiated the change that led to the release of the storks to a safe environment after so many decades since their extinction, the story started to be written in my mind: children bring storks into the world.

I think that what this is a unique example how everyone can do something for nature, and that with common sense everyone, even he only a child, and not a scientist or a politician, can contribute to make our world a better place to live and wonderful for plants, animals and us, humans. It is also a wonderful example that politicians and scientists listen to children's wishes and dreams.

I admire the Toyooka children for being so ambitious, persistent and brave to make the change, and for being able to show everyone in the world that if they can, everyone can!

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