Celebrating the animals of Africa!
The day in which we celebrate the recognition, significance and utmost importance of our magnificent animals is almost upon us! World Animal Day.
While some may know October 4th to be the official date of ‘World Animal Day’ since the early 90’s, it has since developed and grown into an entire month of animal awareness, animal welfare and animal protection.
Our Crossing Lodges family have always shown great appreciation and care for our Big (and Little) Five of Africa and how we have learnt to share this world with them for centuries. So let us take a deep dive and explore the history and importance of this special month as we celebrate our animals of Africa!
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It was 1925 when a man named Heinrich Zimmermann organised the very first World Animal Day to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. This event, which took place at the Sport Palace in Berlin had a crowd of over 5,000 animal lovers! By 1931, World Animal Day became global during a world protection organisation conference in Florence, Italy before being celebrated by the Finnish Association of Animal Protection Associations in 2002.
Today, it is a global movement celebrated by animal-rights activists in more than 70 countries! Although it’s celebrated in different ways in countries, it has increased overall awareness, effective protection and education surrounding the wellbeing of all our animals and frankly – giving them a voice!
SHEDDING A LIGHT…
With both our lodges nestled in the heart of the Waterberg Wilderness, we are situated right in the very habitat of some of the world’s most fascinating animals. Since Africa is known to be the highest tourist attraction destination for sightings of these animals, we’ve decided to shed a light on a few of our favourites near our lodges and their current conservation status.
Tourches on? Now let’s take a look…
1 – THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT
To imagine a world without these beautiful gentle giants is unthinkable. You will be stunned to find large herds of the African Elephant at Elephants Crossing. Although it may not seem like it to you, the African Elephant is extremely intelligent and are the largest mammals to walk the earth. Despite this, they are still frequently poached for their tusks and are sadly classified as “endangered.”
There are however many fundraisers and anti-poaching groups such as Save The Elephants that actively work to protect our elephants – you can visit their website to donate.
2 – THE LION
Our big cats! The most majestic, yet intimidating one of the ‘Big Five’ to spot while out exploring the bush. Lions play an important role in the food chain, by ensuring the balanced number of dominant herbivore species, such as zebra and buffalo. However, with the current rate of habitat loss and poaching, lions have been classified as being a “vulnerable” species and sadly are at risk of extinction within the next few decades.
There’s still a chance to play an active role in preventing this. Another foundation to support to save our lions is The African Wildlife Foundation – a global conservation organisation based in Africa.
3 – THE RHINO
As expected, we could not forget to mention our powerful and mighty Rhinos – the face of wildlife conservation! As many of us know by now, our rhinos suffer greatly out there in the wild. They are the most commonly poached animals in Africa. We are lucky to be able to pass them quite frequently out in the bush still proudly wearing their horns, all thanks to the Welgevonden Wildlife Protection Project. Whilst they are the most sought after animals by poachers, Africa has made incredible progress over the years of rhino conservation. After more than a century of protection and management, they are now classified as “Near Threatened” and around 18,000 exist in protected areas and private game reserves. You can join the movement or donate by keeping an eye out on organisations such as Save The Rhino.
Be sure to join us at Elephants Crossing or Zebras Crossing this coming Animal Month! Allow us to share the beauty of our African eco-system and the many animals that contribute to it!