Sometimes it seems like all we hear is the bad news and feel powerless to do anything ourselves but there are many ways we can make a difference to what happens to our planet and the wonderful animals in it. Lots of small changes add up to big changes. Just like the saying 'from small things big things grow' and they do. I'm sure most people would stop and think if they knew some of the facts around the exploitation of animals which involves anything from the circus to the soap we use for a shower. I guess a circus is an obvious exploitation but some of the other ways the animal world is plundered aren't so clear to us. Jewellery made from ivory the shells of turtles and the fur from animals are all things you can refuse to buy. Encounters with wild animals such as elephant rides and big cat petting only lead to mistreatment and often death from an industry only intent on making money. Most of the cub petting in Africa leads to the deaths of these animals when they grow up by the canned hunting industry, an awful practice where these beautiful animals are shot in an enclosure by some rich tourist from overseas. Would you pet a cub if you knew that small animal only had a future like that ? That by paying money to pet a cub you support and help grow an industry that only threatens the survival of these incredible animals. Refuse to buy soaps shampoos and household cleaners and detergents if they contain palm oil. Why ? because pristine rain forests are being burnt down and destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations where some of the most endangered animals live such as orangutans, sumatran tigers, clouded leopards, asian rhinocerous to name but a few. Just by stopping reading labels and thinking about your choices you can make a difference.
Good news when it comes to wildlife matters, seems to be rare these days in the face of diminishing habitat, human population growth and poaching. However there is something to celebrate in Africa, and that is the huge project being undertaken to create a wildlife area spanning around 100,000 square klms extending into several countries. It's called The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) which is a long-term project to drop fences between various game reserves in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, to create a wilderness area populated with a huge diversity of wild animals. Much of Mozambique's wildlife disappeared during the civil war but the ambitious plan to repopulate the area is already underway. It gives me heart that there is hope for the survival of Africa's beautiful animals.