On this day 29 year ago Dian Fossey was murdered where she lived in Rwanda protecting Mountain Gorillas. Where would the wild world be without people like her, Joy Adamson and Jane Goodall. Those who devote their lives and even give their lives to protect endangered wildlife. If it wasn't for these incredible people I doubt there would be any wildlife left in some places in the world. Sadly even though both Dian Fossey and Joy Adamson were murdered and their killers never brought to justice, their legacy to save wildlife from poaching slaughter and exploitation does live on. These people truly lived their lives full of purpose meaning and commitment. Wouldn't it be nice if their were more like them and less of the monstrous and barbaric who are decimating in particular Africa's wildlife in their quest to fund their wretched terrorist activities.
At last some real efforts are being made by law to save wolves from mindless persecution. The US has made some really bad decisions about wolves in the past leading to almost exterminating the species for no good reason at all. Top predators are needed to maintain a balanced ecology and the existence of wolves has proven to be essential in maintaining prey species numbers. All the creatures in the wolves world have their place and are vital to a stable environment that has been proven by scientists and those that study the impact the loss of these amazing and intelligent animals has had. So often it seems humans have to nearly destroy a species before we realise the catastrophe we have caused.
Having just brought home a kitten we are very aware of all the things that he could get into and eat that he shouldn't. With Christmas not far away we decided against having a tree with decorations because they would be too tempting for a kitten to resist. Seems like we made the right decision are reading this story of a kitten dying after ingesting the needles off the artificial tree. I guess it tells you there could be a problem if you stop and think about what the trees are made of. So many things around a house have the potential to cause a fatality in your cat or kitten. Recently I also read about a cat that had terrible burns from the liquid of a reed diffuser after knocking it over. How many people have those in their house ? we do, so now I'll be placing them well out of reach of Fergus and Monty the kitten.
I've just finished this my first lion painting. The process of creating realistic animals in an unreal or abstract background has been really thrilling to accomplish. It marks a definite turning point for me as an artist, a stage I've been working towards for a long time that at times I've struggled to achieve. So often I've finished a painting and felt a vague disappointment that I hadn't quite got the look I wanted but this one really has nailed it. I love the marks of the stencil and realised just how creative you can be with something so simple. Instead of labouring over realistic landscape features that frankly bore me the stencil gives a lovely patterning and relief to the rest of the piece thereby creating contrasts of texture and shapes. It's exciting to make such a successful leap and opens all sorts of other creative possibilities for future paintings.
Ever heard of a Janus cat ? If you haven't it's a cat with two faces, yes it's for real although extremely rare. Frank & Louie is one such cat that just passed away at the incredible old age for a cat like this at 15. Generally they don't live very long at all so he really beat the odds. I'm not at all sure what I think of keeping animals like this, worrying that they just become a novelty, something to stare at. I'm sure Frank & Louie had a wonderful life with his devoted owner. With the proliferation of images online we now get to see all sorts of truly bizarre things including animals severely compromised with cruel and sometimes hideous birth defects. I can't help but wonder about the people who choose to keep them and go to great lengths and expense to give them a life where once upon a time the kindest thing to do would be to euthanase.
Trophy hunting rhino ? how can this be I wonder. How shocking to realise that more rhino have been slaughtered for sport than have been poached for profit. Surely we are talking an endangered species or did I imagine it. What is wrong in the world that rich shallow pathetic excuses of human beings can legally hunt down and shoot to kill a magnificent icon of the African landscape that is also declared an endangered animal. What could any half decent person get out of this senseless act barbaric act, do they not feel any shame for what they do ? It's not just rhino, lions are also taken using high powered weapons, elephants buffalo and leopards too. This insanity and cruelty must be stopped if wildlife is to have any chance of surviving. We as a race must respect the right of these extraordinary animals to live in the world at peace .