1. Match the endangered animals to the reasons why they are facing extinction, then listen and check.
|– sold as pets, but difficult to breed
|– green-cheeked parrots
|– killed to their meat
|– alligator snapping turtles
|– hunted for their horns
Answer & Audioscript
Rhinos are hunted for their horns.
Green-cheeked parrots are sold as pets, but they are difficult to breed.
Alligator snapping turtles are killed for their meat.
ANIMALS IN DANGER
The World Wildlife Fund needs people to act now to help save the ten most endangered species in the world.
John Hewett, aged 26, is planning to ‘adopt’ a rhino through a special rhino protection project.
I found out about the dangers rhinos face through a nature documentary on TV. Rhinos live in eastern and southern Africa. They weigh from three to five tonnes and can reach a speed of around 45 kilometres per hour. Although it is illegal, hunters kill them for their horns, which are very valuable. Now they are in danger of becoming extinct. I think that rhinos should be bred in captivity until they can live safely in the wild, and people must stop buying products made from rhino horn!
Mae Lin, aged 23, wants to save the green-cheeked parrot.
I first learnt about green-cheeked parrots at school. They are usually found in Mexico and are really good at copying people’s voices. In the last twenty years, many have been smuggled across the border to the USA, to be sold as pets. People value them as pets because they are attractive and have amusing personalities. Green-cheeked parrots are difficult to breed, so the species is slowly dying out. In my opinion, people should only buy parrots which have been bred in captivity. Then the green-cheeked parrot could be left in the wild, where it would have a better chance of survival.
Lee Barker, aged 34, works for the WWF and is worried about the alligator snapping turtle.
Here at WWF, we’re trying to save this species of turtle, which is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. In fact, it is facing extinction because it’s killed for its meat. Snapping-turtle meat is often used in soups or sold in restaurants. Alligator snapping turtles only breed once a year. We believe that if people stopped buying these turtles as pets and stopped eating snapping-turtle soup, the turtles would have a chance to breed and survive.
2. Listen and mark the sentences as T (true) or F (false). Then, listen again and correct the false statements, as in the example.
1 Dogs make bad house pets. F
Dogs make perfect house pets.
2 They never show their happiness.
3 They are playful.
4 They are difficult to train as watchdogs.
5 Dogs don’t need any attention.
6 Having a dog can be tiring.
Answer & Audioscript
2 F Dogs always show their happiness.
4 F Dogs are easy to train as watchdogs.
5 F Dogs need a lot of attention.
Do dogs make good pets?
You’ve decided to add a pet to your family – but what pet is right? I think that the person who said that a dog is “man’s best friend” is absolutely right. In my opinion, dogs make perfect house pets.
First of all, dogs make wonderful companions. They always show their happiness as soon as their owner walks through the door, by wagging their tail and jumping up and down excitedly. They are playful and extremely loyal to their owners, so they are good company for the elderly and for children.
Furthermore, trained dogs are useful to their owners. They are easy to train as watchdogs to guard your house and family, making you feel safe and secure. They can also be trained as guide dogs for the blind. They can be taught all sorts of tricks – even to collect the morning newspaper!
On the other hand, dogs need a lot of attention. They need to be fed and brushed, and taken for their daily walk or regular visit to the vet. However, this is a small price to pay in exchange for their friendship and loyalty.
All in all, although having a dog can be tiring, I believe that they are the best pets. Spending a little time with your dog every day will certainly win you a “best friend” for life.
3. Match the viewpoints to the reasons, then listen and check.
“Rabbits are good house pets.” Do you agree?
1 Rabbits are friendly animals.
2 Rabbits don’t make noise or a mess.
3 Rabbits can cause problems.
a They are quiet.
It’s easy to train them to use a litter tray.
They soon learn not to bite or scratch.
b They like chewing things and digging holes.
They can hurt you if they’re scared.
c They enjoy being with people.
They’ve got interesting personalities.
They love playing.
They are great fun to watch.
Answer & Audioscript
1 c 2 a 3 b
Pet Shop: Good morning, madam. Can I help you?
Mrs Smith: Yes, please. I’m thinking of buying my granddaughter a pet – for her eighth birthday, you see. I’d like your advice about what sort of animal would be best for her.
Pet Shop: Hmm … an eight-year-old girl. Is she a noisy, active sort of child?
Mrs Smith: Not really. She’s very well-behaved.
Pet Shop: Well, then, what about getting her a rabbit? If I were you, I wouldn’t give it a second thought – rabbits make very good house pets.
Mrs Smith: Really? What is that?
Pet Shop: Well, to start with, rabbits are friendly animals. They enjoy being with people, and they’ve got interesting personalities. They love playing, too, and they’re great fun to watch.
Mrs Smith: I see … but what about the noise and the mess? They live in a flat, you know – my son and his family, that is.
Pet Shop: No problem – rabbits are quite animals, and it’s easy to train them to use a litter tray. They soon learn not to bite or scratch …
Mrs Smith: Mmm … I’ve heard stories about them destroying the furniture, even attacking people!
Pet Shop: Well, it’s true that rabbits can cause some problems. They like chewing things and digging holes, and they can hurt you if they’re scared. All animals do that, though. Your granddaughter just needs a little time to train the rabbit, and learn to respect its needs.
Mrs Smith: Are you absolutely sure?
Pet Shop: Absolutely, madam! A little patience and good training will turn your rabbit into the sweetest little bunny. Look at these adorable little rabbits over here … [fade]
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