Posts Tagged With: respect

A tragedy larger than Harambe

harambe zinci zoo

Harambe, Cincinnati Zoo

A silverback gorilla, a toddler, and a decision to be made. The untimely demise of Harambe is stirring debate across the country.

Forced to act quickly, the zoo’s response team was in an unenviable position. Animal behavior is unpredictable, they’re wild. But so are people.

In 1996 at the Brookfield Zoo a toddler fell into the gorilla exhibit, in 1999 a man was found dead with a killer whale at Sea World, in 2009 a woman jumped into the polar bear enclosure at the Berlin Zoo, in 2012 a toddler fell into an African Wild Dog enclosure; the list goes on.

It makes you wonder, should enclosures be made to keep animals in? Or to keep people out?

Since 1990, animals died during escapes or attacks 42 times in U.S. zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 15 zoo incidents resulted in the loss of human life, and 110 resulted in injury according to Born Free, USA.

gugu panda

Gugu the Panda @Beijing Zoo

People entering enclosures range from “accidental” like the toddler in the Brookfield Zoo and the current case with Harambe, to suicidal, and downright deranged. The Beijing Zoo has had multiple occasions of people entering  Gugu the Panda’s exhibit to “hug” him. He’s bitten them every time, but it hasn’t seemed to stop the incidents.

So what is the point in zoos? Do they contribute to conservation? Spark appreciation? Or are they outdated and unnecessary?

When bringing my son to the zoo, we would meander from one exhibit to another, observing the animals; discussing each one, explaining their habits, their likes and quirks. We bonded over our love for animals. He learned appreciation, respect, and the connections all of us as living beings have in the world.

In the age of cell phones, selfies, and convenience, are zoos an insignificant place where the awe and wonder of animals are taken for granted? Is conservation just a trend on twitter? What is more endangered, the animals or our empathy and connection with our world?

phily zoo 1874

The oldest zoo in America is the Philadelphia zoo, opened in 1874. The first animal was a raven.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rhinos, Rangers and Respect

As you watch the Superbowl from your living rooms, our rangers are out in the bush, patrolling, vigilantly protecting our rhinos and elephants.

Rain, sun, under the veil of darkness- each snap of twig, each movement in the shadow; at any moment awaiting to hear the shot of a gun…or the feel of one.

“It’s a relentless onslaught,” says Johan Jooste, special projects commander with South African National Parks (SANParks). “This place gives new meaning to 24/7.”

Soldiers in the poaching war, always in danger, every hour they spend on guard is intense. Relying on one another to back them up, praying the others in their unit are just as committed and not on the payout from poaching syndicates.

One day uneventful, another loading a rhino carcass onto a truck. Many of these men and women, taking each death to heart, feeling guilt and defeat.

“Worldwide, about two rangers are killed every week,” says Sean Willmore, president of the  International Ranger Federation and founder of the Thin Green Line Foundation, “But that’s only partial data,” he adds. “It could be double that amount.”

Unappreciated, underpaid, inadequately armed, facing long tedious days only to go to bed and sleep with one eye open, and get up to do it all again. Please help us show appreciation and respect. It goes a LONG way!

Which ranger inspires you? Make a donation in his name and we’ll send them a note of thanks  in your words and let them know there is someone out there supporting their efforts and fighting on THEIR team!

Click on each ranger’s name to re-read their stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ranger Heroes: Paul

Facing element, animal, and poacher, our rangers are the frontline in a bloody war of politics and principle. With the poaching stats rising, trade talk resurfacing, and in the midst of yet another full moon, it’s guys like Paul who help me sleep at night!

Name: PaulPaul

Age: 33

Location: Specialized counter poaching operator near Hoedspruit

What has been your most rewarding OR most difficult moment as a ranger?

Paul: The most rewarding thing doing what I do, is looking into the eyes of the poacher/suspect that you’ve hunted for so long. The most difficult is when we have to react, and proactive goes out the door.

Where would you like to travel someday?

Paul:  Anywhere in the world where people live in harmony with their surroundings and have respect for their animals

What is your favorite meal?

Paul:  I can’t leave any seafood or pasta alone

What is your ideal day off ?

Paul: Spending time with loved ones if possible. If not, then sleeping as much as I can.

What do you wish you had to fight poachers?

Paul:  We don’t need a lot of tech(nology) to fight these poachers, we just need more dedicated passionate operators in the field, and not just for the rhinos but the whole natural living eco-system.

What do your family/friends/significant other think of your profession? And do they worry?

Paul:  My family respect what I do, but don’t like it, as its always better for the next person to do it, but F*** That! I AM the next person.  This is not something you get to do because it’s a career choice, its something you are born with, passion for standing for something which belongs to the earth and everything on it.

Paul and rhino 3

 

 

Categories: Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Earth Day: Respect our Home

Earth Day 2

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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