A few weeks ago, I visited the Maasai Mara and of course I could not miss the morning game drive in the park. 6.00am in the morning we started our drive inside the park, it was quite evident that our surrounding was not the usual norm of the city life that we are used too. The park was quiet and the birds were chirping as they cut through the fresh air with their wings, flying freely. The zebras and antelopes were grazing on their breakfast and once in a while they would lift up their heads when the van passed by. We also spotted some wildebeest and we were so excited to think that the migration had just started only to be informed by our guide that those are resident wildebeest and they do not migrate like the others. Talk about killing the excitement of witnessing the 7th wonder of the world. But oh well, at least we have residents in our midst and I believe they would not be feeling at home if the did not love Kenya.
We were actually very lucky that day since we got to see most of the big five animals . We watched the king and queen of the jungle mating, which was quite thrilling, I mean we only get to see these things on TV and here we are seeing it live. We also spotted a lioness enjoying her meal though we never got to see her hunt 🙁 We patiently watched her teeth tear through the meat and her entire mouth was covered in blood. She was surrounded by vultures who were waiting on her to finish so that they can dive in and have their fill too.
We came across a herd of elephants and our guide wanted to give us a clear view so that we can snap good photos and have a closer view of the majestic animals. He drove close to their path to the point where we got scared that we might have gotten too close but surprisingly they walked passed the van and one of the elephants rubbed her trunk on the van and I swear our eyes met. That moment has never left my mind, in just few seconds we connected and in an instant I was filled with gratitude and affection for the elephants. It saddened me that they are hunted day in day out for their ivory. It saddened me even more that even in their peaceful nature someone would actually shot or throw a poisonous spear to kill them.
We are just from celebrating World Elephant and Lion Day and as I liked and shared the facebook post from David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust , Elephant Voices and African Wildlife Foundation, I was humbled by their efforts towards saving these animals from the hands of poachers. The dedication of the shepherds who spend most of their time caring and nursing these majestic animals goes to show how noble and nurturing they are. These are men and women who have left their families to take care of these animals, that they now call their second family. To see photos of them playing freely with these animals just goes to show that a unique friendship can be built between man and animal.
The statistics echoed by these foundations shows that the numbers of these animals is dropping at an alarming rate and this is due to poaching and sport hunting. Herds of elephants are slaughtered everyday in Africa while Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards are hunted for fun.
So why hunt for ivory? Why hunt for sport? What is so thrilling about killing an adorable beauty of the wild for pleasure? Why? Have we lost our conscious?
It pains me when I hear of these animal killings happening in Africa. It’s a high time we put an end to these atrocities. These animals do not threaten humanity in anyway, on the contrary millions of people all over the world love to watch them in their natural habitat and they make the tourism industry in Africa thrive. Its time we speak up and defend them and the best people who can do this job while being supported by their parents are children. I believe children should be the voices behind saving our wildlife, because it is them we are robbing the opportunity and pleasure of learning and seeing these animals in the wild.
We need to teach our children the importance of defending and fighting for the rights of the wild. It is through them that they can communicate to their family members especially those who are in the business of poaching and making money from game sporting to stop these killings. They are the same people who will discourage the parents from buying jewelry made from ivory thus killing the market of ivory trade.
Let us leave these animals to play their own sport in the wild, let us leave them to hunt each other because that is their cycle of life and way of survival. Let us let them roam freely without fearing for their lives, let us show them that we can coexist with them in peace. Let us show them love. Let us give the future generations an opportunity to be part of the wild and lets leave lessons for them to emulate and pass on to their generations. Let us support foundations that are fighting for the rights of these beautiful souls we call our PRIDE…Let PEACE return in the WILD.
Photo credit to ElephantVoices
Give the few calves we have in the world a chance to grow up with and in a family.
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