Christmas is upon us so it's a good time to review all those glittery gorgeous bells and baubles we adorn our houses with to celebrate. Snowglobes take me back to my childhood. I remember shaking them up and being being so fascinated by the miniature snowy world inside that looked so like I imagined it would. Being a kid from the Australian bush I'd never seen snow, in fact I still haven't. While we gaze in fascination at these pretty things we hardly give any thought to it being dangerous but the contents actually contain anti freeze. Completely toxic to your cat and probably your dog too if the ball is broken and they get it on their fur and ingest it. If you have one put it our of reach of your cats and dogs because by the time you realise you pet is sick it's probably too late.
Living in a warm Australian climate it's hard to imagine just how cold it can get in the US or Europe in winter. Stories about the suffering of stray animals out in the freezing conditions trying to survive are heartbreaking and terribly sad. The lucky ones saved from an almost certain and painful death are probably just too few but this little kitten was one of them. Hope she finds a loving home where she'll never know cold again and it's wonderful to know there are kind and caring people who bother to rescue them.
Poachers are the trash of the earth for the misery and suffering they cause and inflict on some of the most iconic animal on earth. We all need to do anything we can to bring them to justice and this is why I am putting this link in my blog. These crimminals are being sought for crimes against wildlife and need to be caught. You can help too by copying and pasting it in your blog or Facebook page, get the message out there and stop the slaughter before it's too late.
I love a good news rescue story and this one from Russia shows that people do care sometimes.
Dogs really are extraordinary animals used to assist in law enforcement sniffing out drugs and crimminals, partnered with soldiers in war zones and so much more. It's probably not a surprise to find that now they are being used at the forefront of wildlife conservation in Africa in the war on poachers. And it really is a war to save some of the most iconic animals on earth. Everything must be done to halt the terrible carnage and decline of the truly amazing species that inhabit the diverse environment of Africa. These dogs and their handlers are heroes involved in some of the most dangerous work you could imagine.
It's so heartening to know so much is being done to save magnificent great tuskers like Tim who at 45 years of age ran foul of a spear. This amazing team treated his septic wound which no doubt would have turned very bad and painful. There are now so few of these amazing old elephants it's scary. How can the great elephant herds be saved from the wretched poachers or is it just inevitable they will just disappear in the predicted less than 20 years. The sad fact are that probably we will lose them. How did it get to this ? Is it only a matter of time before Tim is taken too just like so many before him.
Can the relentless slaughter of elephants be stopped ? Poaching, having reached unprecedented levels seems almost unstoppable but organisations such as this must be supported in their drive to stop the senseless annihilation of one of Africa's most iconic animals. Awareness of where and how the precious ivory that makes beautiful jewellery and other highly sought after objects must be put in front of people to make them think twice about buying it. If there is no demand there is no slaughter so any organisation that can raise awareness especially in Asia of the number of animals that have to die to make trinkets must be applauded for their attempts to stop the tragedy unfolding in Africa. Let elephants be elephants please.
Researching for my next painting of a coalition of male lions I have been looking at some documentary film of lions in the wild. Awesome animals that they are it's hard to believe that they too face a bleak future at the hands of man. How can it be, lions have always been there just like elephants so what is happening to endanger them ? Habitat loss and poaching are the greatest threat to these magnificent true kings of the African landscape. From hot open plains to swamps these remarkable cats forge an existence full of danger and threats to their survival from not just humans but the prey animals they need for food such as buffalo. It is almost unbelievable that trophy hunters are still able to kill these astounding animals for just fun and ego. The large males are targeted for their heads, how utterly sickening. It makes me wonder what kind of human can deliberately hunt down and kill an animals so defenceless in the face of the high powered weapons that are used. How do they feel like the heroes they imagine themselves to be ? How indeed do they sleep at night knowing they have taken such a unique life force ?
As if wildlife in Africa isn't facing it's greatest battle for survival along comes Ebola. You might ask what has that got to do with wildlife since they can't catch Ebola but the story is not that simple. It never is for the wildlife. Since Africa has a huge tourist industry attracting visitors from all over the world the country and it's people rely on this for survival especially the poor. With the scare of Ebola comes cancellations of trips planned and tourist dollars drying up so people have to turn to other ways to survive and that's when the wildlife is at risk. Viewed as a resource particularly in hard times tragically the animals represent food and income to many of the countries poorest inhabitants. Clearly something needs to be done to eradicate Ebola quickly. Wildlife particularly elephants in Africa just don't need another hit when they are already struggling for their very survival under the pressure of unprecedented poaching levels. Heartbreaking.