Following the sickening and heartless murder of Cecil a magnificent lion who awed visitors to Zimbabwee for 13 years I hope that his cruel death will not be in vain. Trophy hunting must surely be the ultimate atrocity on wildlife and it must be stopped. Cecil the lion symbolises all those animals that have died senselessly at the hands of psychopathic rich men and women with a perverted lust for killing, people that seem to think they have the right to take the lives of defenceless animals, even endangered animals all over the world. We as a society must say enough if we think of ourselves as civilised because there is nothing cilvilised in the barbaric slaughter of animals.
It's like rhino cam, a small camera fitted inside a small hole drilled in the rhino horn that films it's surroundings. Can this be the new hope for saving the inevitable extinction of this ancient species from relentless poaching? It could be. The camera will identify anyone in close proximity of the rhino and identify them making it easier to track them down. Apparently the camera also has a sensor that detects a change of rhythm in the animals vital signs with a back to base monitor that alerts game keepers wnen an animal is in distress. The idea works for a rhino because they have a central horn curving up. It's an amazing and innovative idea that sadly wouldn't work for elephants but hopefully if this works for the rhino maybe a variation of this may be found.
One of the strangest and most unique of birds would surely be the Kakapo a flightless New Zealand ground dwelling parrot. Big and clumsy and such a character the Kakapo is at grave risk of extinction with only around 130 birds left in existence in safe predator free off shore islands to help ensure their survival. Huge efforts are being made by dedicated people doing everything they can to help this strange and utterly charming bird survive.
And the Rains Came
acrylic on canvas
91.5cm x 91.5cm
My latest and second elephant painting has been quite a challenge in describing a lot of awkward shapes but I'm happy with the results.
Elephants live in dry desert regions, rainforests and savannah in Africa preferring areas with plenty of water and food for their huge appetites. Growing from 3 – 6 tons these enormous herbivores are also very intelligent and sensitive forming strong family bonds with the other members of the all female herds. In recent times elephants have suffered unprecedented levels of poaching which threatens the survival of these magnificent giants. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 – 30,000 elephants per year are poached for their ivory and that if this trend is not stopped elephants will be extinct in as little as 15 – 20 years. Saying no to ivory products reduces demand and helps save elephants from this terrible fate.
The reintroduction of lions to Rwanda after they were wiped out following the terrible genocide of 1994 is wonderful news. Lions are threatened and in decline in many parts of Africa so this move to bring them back after 20 years is very positive. Over hunting, decline of prey species, and poaching activities have all played a part in the sad decline from hundreds of thousand of lions to estimates of around 20000 now. This majestic predator is so much a part of the identity of Africa, just like the elephant and rhino that all face a terrible struggle to survive. Let us hope that intervention measures such as this reintroduction can help create a new generation.