The above photo was snapped during a moment with wildlife I will never forget. The emotions behind this photograph were stronger than anything I could ever capture.
We approached this pair of female white rhinos on foot, which changed everything for me.
I saw how easy it is to walk up on these beautiful animals so long as you understand them, their behaviors and their senses. Approach slowly, and check the wind. Make sure it is in your favor, and keep yourself in the shade where they will have a more difficult time placing you with their poor eyesight. This will keep them most relaxed and least disturbed while you spend time with them. Listening to them breathe, watching them sway. It’s a beautiful, peaceful and incredible moment to have, that shared space with two giants.
But what left me with such a twist in my stomach was putting a different person in my shoes.
A poor local short on cash with at least 5 hungry mouths to feed in a society where the unemployment rate is reaching 40%. In my shoes is a poacher from a rural community who has known the bush his whole life. He knows that rhino and how to track it. He knows how to sneak in undetected, with one goal in mind.
Per kilo, worth more than gold.
This is what we all need to understand. Why is that person turning to poaching as his solution? Why is that person turning to brutally killing another living being as his solution?
Poaching is a socio-economic issue that runs deep, and we cannot make a dent in the poaching crisis without understanding the causes behind the killing.
| Elephant Rides
In order to make elephants submit to elephant rides and other human interactions, they are taken from their mothers when babies and forced through a horrific training process known as ‘the crush’. It involves physical restraints, inflicting severe pain and withholding food and water, breaking the spirit of the animal so it submits to human instruction. There are some places you can find that do not do this. -
(via @standforearth )
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One of the best parts about what I do is meeting incredible people from all walks of life. The Masai - such vibrant people in every way. The bright colours they wear, amongst the neutral tones of the bush - an incredible sight to behold.
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| Performing Dolphins
Millions of tourists visit dolphinaria, but they are unaware of the cruelty and abuses the dolphins endure to perform in shows. Whilst it is banned in countries like the US, many performing dolphins around the world are still captured in the wild. They are often chased by high-speed boats before being hauled on board or caught in nets. For many, the stress is too much to take and they die during transportation. Whether wild caught or captive bred, dolphins in dolphinaria face a lifetime of suffering. They spend their entire lives in a space not much bigger than a swimming pool – completely unnatural and restrictive compared to their natural open sea environment. -
(Via @standforearth )
Planning your 2018 summer vacation? Want to travel across the world and try new activities? Here are some activities to avoid that exploit or abuse animals (abducting them from the wild, teaching them through physical abuse & keeping them chained up) that you can tell your family and friends about. -
| Animal Selfies
Baby animals especially tigers and sloths are separated from their mothers at an early age so they can be used as photo props. They are handled and hugged by tourists and typically kept chained-up, or in small barren cages, or drugged to be still for photographs. -
(via @standforearth )
C O N S E R V A T I O N C E N T E R
Space for Giants is delighted to announce the opening of the Loisaba Conservation Center on Loisaba Conservancy!
This project is a partnership with the @sandiegozoo , @loisaba_conservancy and @nature_africa.
The vision for the center is to become a living space where visitors and community members alike can come and learn about what Loisaba Conservancy is trying to achieve in the landscape. “Loisaba Conservancy is a great example of what effective conservation strategies look like,” said Shamini Jayanathan, Director of Wildlife Law and Justice at Space for Giants. “The Conservation Center provides a window into the world of the conservancy, and allows visitors to gain an understanding of elephants, their behavior and what needs to be done to protect them. It also continues to solidify our strong relationship with the local community—because elephants’ futures are very bleak if the community is not invested in their protection.” #conservation#wildlife#Loisaba#Kenya#Africa#community
"We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge, even though we may never need go there....We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope." .
- Edward Abbey
Serene solo adventure hiking up Quartz Peak (4052 ft).
My grandma (center) and great Aunt (left) are the generation who tell me stories of our #tigerfamily ancestors. Childhood memories in the forest and on hunting trips are common in dinnertime conversation. Hunting is now illegal in India, which happened in 1972. But before that time, hunting was a way to appreciate the outdoors. Stories include villagers knocking on the door and begging my great-grandfather to help protect their village against a conflict tiger. At that time, killing a conflict tiger was honorable. My great-grandfather saved livelihoods and people's lives, just like mitigating conflict does today (although done in a different way). He was paraded around a village with garlands around his neck upon a successful hunt. I have endless fascination with the way things were when there were less people and more tigers. Hopefully, my grandma's memories of that time won't be forgotten. I am proud of the way my family's relationship with tigers has evolved. #familyfirst#heritage#conservation#bigcats#history#incredibleindia#forest#hunting#humanwildlifeconflict
Silk in tatters, burst seams, sweat stained and grimy, Sir Edmund Barton's coatee was in a poor state when it first arrived at MoAD... but painstaking conservation work revealed the fascinating stories it had to tell. Find out more on the MoAD blog now. .
#CareforWild would like to welcome two of our newest (and smallest!) arrivals! 🐿
These two baby squirrels were handed into the local vet after being found by a member of the public, and have since come under our care.
Weighing in at around just 50 grams each when they arrived they are two of our smallest ever residents. They are eating a varied diet of seeds and fruit and are also getting some supervised exercise time out in the trees every day.
Once these two little squirrels are bigger they will be released into the wild to enjoy the big open world!
To find out more about us and the work we do, please click the link in our bio.
Today we are highlighting the Yellow Bellied Sea Snake for Weird Animal Wednesday. These interesting creatures can typically be found in tropical ocean waters of at least 65 degrees. But, in 2015, 2016 and earlier this month some have been spotted off the California coast. Some speculate that these snakes are easily carried northward by ocean currents. However, others speculate that warming waters from climate change have expanded their hunting territory and movement around this new territory is aided by ocean currents.
Some interesting facts about Yellow Bellied Sea Snakes:
1. This is the only sea snake that lives in the open ocean and feeds off small surface fish.
2. It survives by drinking rainwater that falls on the ocean’s surface.
3. It gives birth to live young right in open water.
4. This guy is poisonous, so be cautious!! Let’s #GETKRAKEN to learn more about ocean animals! If you guys have any ideas for #WeirdAnimalWednesday make sure to DM us and we’ll feature them and you!