The 4th October sees the return of World Animal Day. This idea started back in 1925 in Germany as a way to improve the welfare of animals, officially taking off in 1931. This particular day of the year was chosen as it coincides with the day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, including animals. Legend has it that Saint Francis was able to talk to animals and even tamed a wild wolf – the original Dr Doolittle!!
Safari can be defined as an overland journey to observe and photograph wildlife, as well as hiking and sightseeing. This is definitely on my bucket list – to be truly immersed in nature and your surroundings, seeing wildlife in their natural environment. This sounds like the greatest adventure of all to me! I assume it would be one of those experiences you wish you could relive for the first time over and over again. Oh well, maybe one day!
When we think of safari we normally think of the ‘Big Five’ – these are the Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo. Originally seen as the most dangerous, therefore, trophies for hunters and poachers, but now seen as the most desirable to be observed. At a safe distance obviously, I know I wouldn’t want to take any of these on!!
For those of us stuck in the UK (pretty much all of us thanks to Covid lol), here’s a few suggestions for Safari Parks across the country. I can highly recommend West Midlands Safari Park, and Longleat is on my list of places to go to! Wildlife parks and zoos have an obligation to support and encourage research which will improve the welfare of captive animals. In addition, research at captive animal collections can generate knowledge on topics such as animal behaviour, physiology and reproduction. This knowledge can ultimately be used to assist species conservation.
One of my friends also introduced me to Zooniverse. This is a great way to enjoy the safari from the comfort of your own home. They have lots of Projects run by scientists and ecologists, and they need your help!! They have thousands of photos from trial cameras. Your task is to help identify the animals in the photos, and what they’re up to. You feel like you’re spying on them and it gets quite addictive lol. You see lots of animals, some even in funny poses etc.
Be sure to check it out. There are other projects on there too relating to other wildlife/habitats across the world.
There are also lots of Wildlife programmes available on the likes of BBCiPlayer etc. Why not check out a David Attenborough show educating the nation about all things to do with the environment. He’s a national treasure, who should be wrapped up in cotton wool!!
I used to also watch a show called Meerkat Manor (by Animal Planet), following Flower and her family as they go about their business in the Kalahari Desert. It’s like a soap drama and gets quite addictive!