Archive | July, 2015

The Problem With African Hunting

31 Jul


African Lions


Many of us are mourning Cecil the Lion today and I’m one of them. I’m not angry like some people. Mostly I’m just sad. 

Being from Texas, I’ve heard the reasons hunting can be beneficial – culling the herd, for example. But this wasn’t culling. This was poaching. 

African Poaching

Unfortunately, Cecil’s killing isn’t an isolated event. Poaching in Africa is a serious problem. From elephants to rhinos, and lions – all of these animals are being hunted – for profit. 

Conservationists Are Losing The Battle

There are only four Northern White rhinos left in the world. Their extinction is pretty much a done deal. Rhinos are poached for their horns, which are then sent to Asia and used for medicinal purposes.

 I don’t get it. Rhino horn consists of the same material as human fingernails. I’m not sure what kind of medicinal benefit anyone can get from nails, but I’d be more than happy to send my fingernail clippings to Asia – if only that would help. 

When we visited Uganda recently, we stopped at a rhino sanctuary. The animals are so threatened that armed guards stay with them twenty-four hours a day. Any unguarded rhino is in danger – even ones in sanctuaries. 


Endangered African Rhinos

The Reason For Poaching 

As long as poaching is lucrative, and as long as African people are desperate for money and don’t have resources to earn it legitimately, poaching will continue. I’ve read sources that say one rhino horn can garner as much as $35,000! Even “licensed” hunts won’t stop because lots of money is involved. I don’t know how this problem will end. I just hope it does before there are no animals left in the wild. 

Important Note to Self 

20 Jul

When your gorilla trekking guide yells at you to “Go! Go! Go!”, I recommend you run for your life. Because when the Rwandan silverback gorilla, who has just beat his chest like bongos, decides to pull an entire tree down on your head, it will probably hurt. Fortunately, all it did was knock some sense into us. And no, I don’t have a photo. I was too busy hauling ass to get one. 

I’m Back

17 Jul

 Hi Everyone- It’s been a while. I’ve missed y’all! We’ve been going strong and have visited more than thirty countries since my last post.  And yes, the jet lag we’ve experienced has been crazy bad!!  And no, the photo of the gorilla is NOT one of me after a really bad flight! 

Over the last couple of years, some of our trips have been great – trekking with the gorillas in Rwanda! Some have been terrifying – being mobbed and robbed in Tunisia. And some of it has been heartbreaking – seeing the destruction of the recent earthquakes in Nepal. I hope to share it all with you. Talk to you soon-