15 August—15 December 2019

Extinction Voices

To highlight the seriousness of the wildlife extinction crisis, we have veiled Alfred the gorilla and 31 other animals in our World Wildlife gallery.

Among others the veils shroud our rhino, tiger, giraffe and chimpanzee so we can begin to comprehend a world without these extraordinary creatures. All 32 animals are threatened with high to extreme risk of extinction.

We’re doing this because of a report released by IPBES in May. It revealed that one million species are threatened with extinction because of humans – many within decades.

It’s not too late for us to make a difference and we hope this display will inspire people to think about what we can all do to protect these unique and precious animals.

The histories of some of our animals will be told for the first time, including our tiger which was shot by King George V in Nepal, 1911. This glimpse of the past is vital to understanding what is happening today.

We want to create a shared collection of ideas and actions. We hope that you will share your thoughts on our extinction tree in the gallery.

Extinction Voices brings together the voices of local children, scientists and the museum. The title is inspired by a quote by environmentalist Paul Hawken: ‘Nature is noisy. It walks, it crawls, it swims, it swoops, it buzzes. But extinction is silent. It has no voice except our own.’