Autumn is a season of warm colors, crisp air and magical landscapes; it is a lovely time of the year to visit the zoo. But before we start this stroll, let me mention something.
I enjoyed reading Richard Hughes's blog post Getting older: getting younger. As time goes by, we can allow our minds to expand, to open in different directions. We are constantly learning. (Richard, I love your blog but I can't comment on it because I don't have Google plus). When we do the things we love doing, we feel happy. I agree with you, Richard.
Let's keep walking; let the soft cool air caress our skin.
Recent research showed that elephants are able to communicate over many miles by using infrasound. Here's a wonderful video about the secret language of elephants
Human populations are taking over more and more elephant habitat. Poaching for ivory is another threat to elephants.
Lions are farmed under appalling conditions in South Africa for "canned hunting" where rich tourists pay thousands to shoot them through fences.
Let's show president Zuma that this brutal trade is hurting South Africa's image as a tourist destination. He can ban this cruel trade. Yes, he can.
Here's a petition you can sign:
"Tiger bone wine" and other tiger-part medicines were banned after massive international outrage.
There are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild today.
Did you know that flamingos dance to attract their mates?
Are you familiar with the Spanish dance called "Flamenco"?
You can watch them here.
During this interesting visit we meet the bonobos for the first time. Bonobos share 98 % of our DNA. They are our close relatives. You can read about them here.
Bonobos live in the Republic of Congo and the population is believed to have declined sharply over the last thirty years.
As we contemplate the foliage around us,
we come across these creatures who display their colorful costumes with pride.
But they are not interested in us. Not like this giraffe at least.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.