Visiting Werribee Zoo & How you can fight Animal Extinction

At the end of last moth, my parents took me out to Werribee Zoo for the first time as a (very belated) birthday present. I have wanted to visit Werribee Zoo for as long as I can remember, being an African styled, open range zoo. Plus, since they announced the birth of new lion cubs, one of my favourite animals, I just had to go! I have had a love for lions and Africa since I watched The Lion King as a young kid, so I today was a very exciting day for me.

I was so excited seeing the lion family! The little cubs were so cute, the lioness’ were beautiful, and the male was just gorgeous! It was around the afternoon that we saw them, and they were all having a sleep in the sun. So unfortunately they weren’t bounding around being cute, but I was amazed none the less at seeing such beautiful creatures (we sat there for so long just watching them)

I was also very lucky to have the opportunity to do an animal encounter, and feed the giraffes! And what an experience that was! They are magnificent creatures (and even bigger than I would have imagined!) First we got to feed them acacia branches, and they were so strong! I really loved feeding them vegetables out of my hand, because you had more of a connection with them, and they were quite gentle.
The keepers also took us on a tour of other areas of the giraffe enclosure, and told us all about how they are looked after, which was really interesting.
The encounter was $50 and ran for 90 minutes – I can definitely say you get your money worth!

 

I took a lot of photos of all the beautiful animals at the zoo, so I hope you enjoy them 🙂
*The first 2, and the meerkat on the rock were taken by my dad

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I had a really lovely day out at the zoo with my family. The animals I was most excited to see were the lions and the wild dogs, as well as the new baby zebra and baby meerkats, but I loved seeing them all! I also really enjoyed going on a safari ride around the zoo, it had a nice African vibe. And of course, being so close to the giraffes was a truly amazing experience.

I also really want to mention about being a Zoo Member. I became one at the start of this year, and it costs around $7 a month (or you can pay yearly), which gives you unlimited entry to Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Healsville Sanctuary in Victoria. I’m always happy to visit the zoo, so this definitely saves money. A well as that, money goes towards conservation and helping endangered animals. I love knowing that I am assisting such a great cause, and being a part of something I am so passionate about – all while being able to visit magnificent creatures.

Another great way to show your support is through ‘Beads for Wildlife’. By purchasing these beautiful, handmade bead products, you can support families and endangered wildlife in Northern Kenya. Such a great cause – I bought a little giraffe and my mum bought an elephant.

The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves 

– Jane Goodall

Jess xx


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Sand Cloud – Products for Marine Conservation and Being a Brand Ambassador

While scrolling through Instagram a few days ago, I noticed a page for a brand called Sand Cloud, asking for Instagram Brand Ambassadors. What stood out to me was the main goal of this company; marine conservation. I wrote to them asking if I could use my blogging platform if I was successful as a brand ambassador, and well.. here we are!

This is just going to be an introduction to Sand Cloud; what they sell and what their mission is, as I have yet to order some of their stuff. However, as soon as I have I will be making a blog post about it 🙂

 

Sand Cloud is a company creating a range of beach products featuring towels, as well as accessories ranging from tops and beanies, to water bottles, stickers, and jewellery.

Their beautifully designed beach towels vary from boho, tie dye, and simply coloured styles. They also come in different sizes including a classic rectangular shape, circular shape, and beach blankets.
As for the accessories, the designs a subtle and tasteful, while still showing support for the conservation cause.

I will go in to more detail about the products in a later post, but today I want to talk about the amazing work Sand Cloud is doing for our oceans.

 

A Californian based company, Sand Cloud believes in the importance of ocean and environmental preservation, and marine life conservation, donating 10% of their net profits to organisations (including Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Mammal Centre and San Diego Coastkeeper). They are focused on creating products that raise awareness for these important issues, and spreading the message of protecting our oceans, beaches and marine life.

mission-infographic-small_1024x1024*Image courtesy of Sand Cloud*

Oceans are said to cover around 71% of the Earths surface, and as so many species reside in the water, the ocean takes up 99% of the planets living space.
I love just looking out at the sun reflecting off the water, the salty smell filling the air, cool water hitting against my ankles as my feet sink into the sand. Yet this incredible, scenic image can be destroyed with man made artefacts; oil spills, pollution, destroyed habitats, and illegal fishing.
Of course we as humans must live, but we do not need to compromise the rest of our planet to do this. Think of all the marine life that die due to being caught in, or consuming pollution; something that can be so easily avoided if we take responsibility for our actions! The earth’s oceans are such beautiful aspects of nature, and they need to be protected now, before we destroy them forever.

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I remember when I was in grade 4, my teacher chose me to be a part of an Environmental Protection Authority program. I felt so excited and important to be involved in something that raised awareness for environmental conservation. I did so much research towards it, but I can hardly remember much more than that, however reading about Sand Cloud has reminded me of it!

As I stated above, Sand Cloud is based in California, and I live in Australia. I believe in supporting worldwide conservation programs, however there is an important issue occurring right now in my own country, that I think Sand Cloud would be perfect to support.

Located off the coast of Queensland is one of the seven wonders of the natural world; the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 3000km, and being the only living thing visible from space, the Great Barrier Reef is a truly amazing speculation. The reef is home to more than 400 different kinds of coral, over 1500 species of tropical fish, around 200 types of birds, and roughly 20 types of reptiles.
Yet the future of the reef is under pressure, due to issues such as climate change impacts, coral bleaching, and harmful chemicals being released into our oceans.

I am hoping that maybe Sand Cloud will one day become a global organisation, and support many oceans and causes around the world. Therefore, if enough people living in Australia join to become an ambassador of Sand Cloud, we can raise awareness of this wonderful brand within our country, and help support not only oceans around the world, but ones we have in our own backyard.

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I am happy to have discovered Sand Cloud, and not only am I excited to use their stunning products, but begin writing and raising awareness about Marine Conservation.

Are you a brand ambassador for Sand Cloud, or thinking of becoming one now? Do you have a passion for or are involved in marine conservation? I would love to hear down in the comments!

Jess xx

 

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Should we close our Zoos – A Response to a Conflicting Issue

The other night, I watched (majority) of a documentary called ‘Should We Close Our Zoos?’. The topic of whether or not animals should be kept in a zoo is a heavily debated issue.
I love having the opportunity to see animals up close, and I am also extremely passionate about their welfare, so this issue has always been a conflicting one for myself. Yet, this documentary really helped clarify where I stand.

Host, Liz Bonnin, wonderfully and professionally explored both the pros and cons of zoos and aquariums, and spoke to a range of experts in the field including zoo keepers, conservationists, and primateologist Jane Goodall.
Conservation and care, versus freedom and behaviour were the contrasted ideas featured, and I can definitely understand both.

Sadly there are of course horrible sides to zoos. Footage of a giraffe being culled and fed to lions was shown in a Copenhagen zoo, and is said to be shamelessly carried out there. Yes, this is something that occurs regularly in nature, however in my opinion, not only is this a cruel practice, but is not how a zoo should be run.

They also spoke about the controversy surrounding Tilikim, the Orca famous from the documentary ‘Blackfish’. Unfortunately as I am typing this post, we have only heard a few days ago that Tilikim has sadly passed away. He died in captivity at 36 years old, half the life expectancy of a Killer Whale, apparently suffering from serious health issues. The whale was brought to seaworld after being taken off his mother as just a calf, meaning he spent his whole life away from a natural habitat and being used as a form of entertainment.

Tilikim become known after being involved in the deaths of 3 people, which is of course a terrible tragedy, but were these behavioural issues natural instinct, or a result from spending a life in captivity?

However, Zoos can be a way of protecting animals from dangers such as poachers or environmental changes, or even using science and breeding programs to save a species from becoming extinct.
Obviously comparing to the state of zoos many years ago, these places today are much kinder, and people have much more knowledge about providing sufficient living areas. Not the small, concrete cages animals were viewed in years ago.

One part of the show that really spoke to me was the critical case of the Northern White Rhino. Bonnin went and saw one of the 5 remaining Rhinos left in the world, and it absolutely broke my heart. The amazing part was that they were trying many methods such as breeding and stem cell research to try and re-populate these beautiful animals. This could not be done simply in the wild or without zoo programs.
According to other sources, there are sadly on 3 Northern Rhino’s left. We have to come to face the horrible truth that we may loose another incredible species. Action needs to be taken early, not before it’s too late!

Essentially, as started as an argument in the documentary, I am saying that zoos should be focusing on the animals best interest. Through continuing to have appropriate living areas, proper care, and being respectful to the animals, not treating them as simply a form of entertainment or viewing tool. We should be preserving all the incredible creatures that we share a planet with, and as long as animal welfare and conservation are the main priority of zoos, then I support them

If you are interested in viewing the full documentary, it is a BBC made program, and you can watch a preview of it here

Remember, we need to use our voices to help make a difference to those who cannot speak – make our zoos conservation programs, not a collection of animals to speculate.

Jess xx

*All images courtesy of Google Images*