SIX DAYS IN THE SERENGETI
Where do you want to go back to? For me, the answer is always anywhere in southern Africa. From electric sunsets to the thrill of seeing animals I could only dream of as a kid, special doesn’t even begin to cover it. After visiting Tanzania for just six days in September, I drove from California to Montana and back and now I'm getting ready to go to Chile, but digitally, I’m still in the Serengeti. And I suppose a very large part of my heart is there as well, so being able to share the way I feel about these wild landscapes means a lot to me. I finally got around to uploading my favorite photos from the trip on Facebook, and I was also able to finish this short video edit as well.
Exploring the park with the team from Four Seasons Serengeti was an incredible experience, and I applaud them for taking a stand against poaching. Earlier this year they became a founding member of the Frankfurt Zoological Society's Serengeti De-Snaring Program, which is helping reduce the amount of snare traps set up in the park. Before traveling to Tanzania earlier this fall, I had no idea that this kind of poaching existed, but it’s a major problem in the region. Since launch of the Serengeti De-Snaring Program this spring, over 7,000 snare traps have been removed, and if more anti-snare teams are mobilized, this number will only go up. The snares are intended to illegally catch game that can be harvested as meat, but the wires also trap and harm animals like elephants and lions.
Big cats have a huge place in my heart, and watching their populations decline at an exponential rate is both alarming and an incentive to get involved in protecting them. 100 years ago there were nearly 450,000 lions roaming the earth, and now there are an estimated 20,000 in the wild. Due to habitat loss and poaching, these animals are now listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list, and these numbers will continue to drop if we don’t do something. Every little step we take towards conservation helps, and if you feel as passionately about this as I do, I encourage you to ask yourself this question: Am I doing enough? If the answer is no, then let’s get the conversation going about how we can all do more. Right now I'm working on a way to get back here -- and use every tool in my box to try to do something that will have an impact...