October 4th is World Animal Day. World Animal Day was established in 1925 by a Polish man named Heinrich Zimmermann. Heinrich was a writer, editor, journalist, and, most importantly, an animal protection activist. He actively worked against animal abuse and cruelty and wanted to spread the message across the world.
The first World Animal Day was actually observed on March 24th, 1925. A celebration was held in the Sports Palace in Berlin, Germany, with over 5000 attendees. It was held on March 24th because the Sports Palace was booked for October 4th. For the first couple of years, World Animal Day continued to be honored on March 24th, but in 1929, it was officially celebrated on October 4th for the first time. October 4th was chosen because it is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic saint associated with animals. It was thought that he could talk to animals and had tamed a wolf. St. Francis died on October 4th, which thereafter became a day dedicated to animals around the world.
Today, the mission of World Animal Day continues Heinrich’s work to improve global standards for animal care and welfare. They do this by promoting organizations, businesses, community groups, and individuals who hold events dedicated to World Animal Day. By celebrating World Animal Day, people are encouraged to take action today for a better animal future. Significant contributions have been made across the world in the many, many years World Animal Day has been held. Since World Animal Day is one of the only days that honors animals indiscriminately, it makes the holiday accessible to everyone in all countries.
People across the world hold events for World Animal Day. Education and awareness are very important for encouraging people to work for animal welfare, so workshops, conferences, and radio and tv appearances spread the word. Peaceful marches help draw the attention of law and policymakers. Spay and neuter events, vet camps, and vaccination clinics help take care of animals and are accessible where they otherwise may not be. Shelters and rescues hold adoption events or open houses, which may lead to an animal finding a loving and safe home. Fundraising events bring monetary resources to organizations that need it for either animal care or outreach.
TCWR doesn’t hold a World Animal Day event, but we honor our animals every single day. The goal of our education team is to bring awareness for animals in the exotic pet trade. While we focus on big cats, we also showcase predators in general, including our bears and hyena. On a day like World Animal Day, it helps spread our message to a bigger audience as our voice combines with those around us, pushing the same message.