'Half a million ants march in Germany' for protection of Amazon rainforest

August 18, 2015
Leafcutter ants run on a leaf, in which the words, "Merkel Help!" in German were carved by the environmental organizat
Leafcutter ants run on a leaf, in which the words, "Merkel Help!" in German were carved by the environmental organization World Wide Fund for Nature, on August 18, 2015 at the zoo in Cologne, to bring attention to the preservation of the rainforest

Half a million ants were enlisted at a German zoo Tuesday by ecologists from the conservation group WWF to call for the protection of the Amazon rainforest, ahead of a trip by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel to Brazil.

At what the group described as a demonstration, leafcutter ants—a species indigenous to the world's biggest forest—were seen carrying leaves bearing slogans cut out by WWF activists such as "Save the Amazon" and "Help, Merkel".

The action organised by the zoo in Cologne aims at calling on the German leader to push for the protection of the Amazon when she meets Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday.

"The German government should use this meeting to redouble collective efforts at protecting the Amazon tropical forest," said Christoph Heinrich, a board member of WWF Germany.

The Amazon, the largest forest in the world, has been slowly eaten away by deforestation as well as .

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