I went to see my grandmother last week and there was talk about the Leopard gecko. Every one was trying to collect as many as they could. I was confused because it was the same lizard about which my mother told me that you will die within five seconds if it bites you.  Although my childhood was spent counting them but I never wanted to store them.

One of the natives told me that it is not a lizard it is my future. Someone was paying 2500000rupees for hundred grams and the villagers were gone mad. They also told me  that it is used in the treatment of cancer ,that is why it is expensive. They did not know how it is used but they were concerned about money. I was wondering how they were able to grab them. Then I realized people can do anything for money. Elders used to tell dreadful stories about the  Leopard gecko and were guiding us how to grasp it. They did not know about its  anti-cancer chemical and not even the truth about it,  it was the money driving them mad. Children who were restricted to home boundaries were now telling about the color and tail size of the  gecko.

I don’t know the truth and not even do the villagers. But I learnt one thing nothing is harmful if it gives money. The gecko was harmful when it did not have a price tag and it was poisonous although I never heard of any death caused by this poison. They were unaware of its use unless they were paid per grams. The gecko needs a temperature gradient to survive, day time temperature is 90 degrees and night time temperature is 70 degrees but none of the villagers are aware of the conditions and factors necessary for its growth. They are kept at a temperature less than 40 Celsius. This selfish behavior of humans not only uses animals for their own benefits but other humans as well. They don’t know about the environmental use and benefits of the gecko but they are running after money.

It is a human habit to exploit nature for personal benefit and this selfish behavior leads to extinction of various  species. Every living thing has a defense mechanism but nothing is more dangerous than a selfish human being.

“Biological diversity is messy. It walks, it crawls, it swims, it swoops, it buzzes. But extinction is silent, and it has no voice other than our own.” Paul Hawken


By: Aisha Mushtaq