A new game on Facebook immerses gamers in the heart of Africa as they set out on a mission to help build a refuge and care for exotic animals.
The game, Wildlife Refuge, was announced Tuesday by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), and allows players to customize their own refuge as they discover new breeds and protect this habitat from poachers and other dangers that threaten their existence.
Wildlife Refuge also offers players the opportunity to make a difference in real life as SOE will donate a percentage of the proceeds generated from the sale of select virtual items to the Cheetah Conservation Fund and Cheetah Kids.
SOE will contribute half of the proceeds spent by players on “Station Cash” to purchase a Cheetah Statue to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and the other half to purchase a Baby Cheetah for Cheetah Kids.
Playable now on Facebook (http://apps.facebook.com/wildliferefuge), Wildlife Refuge is based on a player’s need to increase their Ecosystem Rating. Ecosystem Ratings are based on building, decorating and securing the refuge, exploring the safari, interacting with neighboring refuges and tending to the animals. Players can compile collections, buy supplies and share achievements with friends in the game.
Despite the fact that the cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, it’s quickly falling behind in race for it’s own survival.
The number of cheetahs has decreased from 100,000 at end of the 19th century to approximately 10,000 today. Causes of this rapidly declining population include inbreeding, high infant mortality, loss of habitat, a reduction in its prey base, conflicts with livestock farming, and a reduced ability to survive in parks and reserves due to the presence of larger predators. Yet, despite all these problems, the cheetah is the oldest of the big cats, and has survived the longest (Cheetah Conservation Fund).
The Wildlife Refuge game may be just the right tool to allow those that are concerned about the cheetah, but unable to make monetary donations, to take action on the part of this majestic, ancient animal.
Image Credit: Flickr - Peti_Morgan