Voice For Elephants

Voice For Elephants

Elephants are poached every day for their tusks and considered "trophies," It's time to change that, not go back.

Normally, I stay quiet in anything regarding politics or my personal political opinion. I never try to post on social media about our President in a negative manner. And you will never know where I stand on those terms. I was raised to respect those in service. Troops, Law Enforcement, the President running our country even if no one else does, and I still do. But this subject, I just can not stay silent. I am disgusted. Outraged.

Lifting a ban on “trophies” of elephant tusks is absolutely horrendous. Elephants are gentle and beautiful majestic animals. We are blessed to have such a magnificent animal on this earth. I still can not believe to this day, that Elephants are still being hunted for their tusks. Not their tusks, but the ivory that their tusks are made out of.

Elephants are dangerously endangered. Every day we lose more and more Elephants due to poaching. One day there will be no more, and will you regret it then? And now OUR President wants to lift the ban on them? NO. It is not right. WE all come from the Animal kingdom. Would you like to be hunted and claimed as a “trophy”? Like your life was worthless, just something to be placed on a shelf or be sold for a disgusting profit.

Elephants don’t have a voice in this. What if you didn’t? You wouldn’t like it, would you? I like having a say in my life. Career choices, where I go on my free time, what I do with my life. How about you?

We have to be the VOICE for the Elephants and all animals who are be hunted as “trophies”. I urge everyone to think about this. Speak up.

Working at Disney’s Animal Kingdom taught me a lot about these animals. Especially the elephants. It was my favorite thing to talk about with guests, the Disney Conservation Fund. I encouraged many guests to donate and often donated myself when I could to help save these animals. Now, even though I have since left Disney and returned home to focus on my career, I will never stop being a voice for these animals. I encourage everyone to stand with me. Raise awareness. Donate if you can to a conservation fund. If you are traveling to Walt Disney World, ask an Animal Kingdom Cast Member about donating. Research it, they will take any amount. Every penny counts. And Disney will match your donation 100%. Together, we can save the Elephants and more endangered animals. Above all else, be a VOICE.

Elephant’s tusks are being hunted still. The lifting of the ban has since been on hold pending further reviewing as I read. But it only lifts the ban so that US Sport Hunting will be allowed in the African countries. Poaching is still happening regardless of the US. I encourage everyone to take a stand. What if we stopped buying IVORY? The want and need of IVORY goes down, that may help stop poaching of Elephants. I know there is still A LOT of work to do. But everything counts. I hope everyone, including those with power, will think of the Elephants and all of the endangered animals and what impact we have on them and this beautiful world.

I do not mean to offend. Or state against our President, as I don’t really know all of the story, only what is being released. I am merely voicing my opinion on this matter and standing up for the Elephants. Thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Missy Hargrove

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Chasing Coral and Saving the World

The current state of affairs in the ocean

In keeping with my most recent theme of scuba diving articles, I felt the need to share with you an important topic to all of us. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called Chasing Corals (I highly recommend it) directed by Jeff Orlowski. This article will look to review the film as well as inform you on the dire situation currently effecting the world.

Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the seas, an astounding environment that supports us. However, with carbon discharges from emissions warming the oceans, a circumstance commonly known as "coral bleaching"- an indication of mass coral decay has been increasing quickly all over the world, and people in general has no clue about the scale or ramifications of the disaster that's quietly seething below. Chasing Coral takes advantage of the inner will of a marketing man, professed divers, a self-titled "coral nerd," and marine biologists to record the devastating bleaching as it happens over the course of a few months. Sadly, the entire process of watching is painful to see and anything but simple for the team. They deal with both technical issues as well as dealing with Mother Nature herself. I can safely say that after watching it, they brilliantly recorded the proper suspense and emotion needed to see what is wrong.

Now as a diver, I have been lucky enough to have been near the majestic beauty of coral reefs. If you want to see them for yourselves, I highly suggest looking at my former article, 7 reasons to learn to scuba dive found here. These beautiful and diverse ecosystems are usually fairly deep in the ocean. They house approximately a third of all marine fish species and yet cover only 0.2% of our world's ocean.

So this brings me to the whale in the room (pun intended) of how we can play our part in helping end this genocide. The primary culprit comes from dealing with all the trash thrown or dumped into the ocean while most times it is misrepresented as pollution (although, there are some areas of the world where that is true). We need to do a better job policing ourselves and others making sure this waste doesn't enter the water or help clean it up when we can. There is absolutely no excuse for intentionally polluting the environment, especially a water supply. A second option could be to help environmentalists create marine parks which are reserves that preserve marine life because they are no longer safely able to survive safely in their environment. Lastly, one of the major things a person could do to help is to educate ourselves regarding the situation and spreading the word about it. There is so much information that can be found online from your device. You can watch the Chasing Coral documentary, see other videos or read up on the latest news. By spreading the word, we may be able to save up to the 75% of the world's coral currently in danger.

As the world continues to warm and the corals slowly decay, it is immensely difficult to determine how much conservation would be needed. The only real hope is that some coral can healthfully survive just long enough for us to come in and save it. I truly hope that one day you get to see them up close and personal. Until then, we must not give up the fight to save them and enjoy them while we still do have them.

Cover Image Credit: www.chasingcoral.com

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How Ocean Acidification Is Detrimental To Wildlife

The Other Side of Climate Change..

Marine life is an important part of our various ecosystems and makes up a variety of industries. These animals make up a large part of our economy and are a valuable resource for food. The ocean suffers from pollution due to human actions but one of the larger problems to its inhabitants is ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is caused by the ocean absorbing a large amount of carbon dioxide.

These large amounts of carbon dioxide can be pinpointed back to our use of fossil fuels and burning other materials. Our current issue has been building up since the industrial revolution and has gifted us a little time before the full effect of greenhouse gases kicked in. This absorption of carbon dioxide has occurred before in the Paleocene-Eocene Period Thermal Maximum and was theorized to occur due to volcanic activity.

This was proved via soil and rock samples that dated back 55.8 million years ago.Temperatures rose five degrees Celcius or nine degrees Fahrenheit. Ocean acidification is when the ocean's pH levels drop which wreaks havoc in the habitat. On a chemistry level, the ocean’s pH level has dropped by 0.11 units. The way the ocean acidity is measured is similar to the Richter scale means that hydrogen molecules have increased by 30% percent over time.

Animals have little time to adjust to this sudden change and struggle to adapt. This is putting a strain on the different populations. To elaborate, respiration, reproduction, and calcification are some processes that are heavily impacted by the pH level of the ocean. To elaborate, some species that would be affected would be both types of water corals, muscles, and sea urchins which all rely on calcification. Coral reefs formed by calcification can produce habitats for sea life. Acidification can break down already grown parts and can stunt further growth.It was observed in Papua new guinea that the actual shape or build of a coral reef may change.

Instead of thin branches the coral formed into a large boulder shape that will affect the inhabitants of the reefs. Warming water can also cause coral to lose its color and become bleached. Muscles are less able to cling to rocks in acidic water along with a loss of their hardened shell. Oysters are suffering a loss in population in the US Pacific Northwest.

This is due to the massive growth spurt they have so they can feed being unable to occur properly. Seagrass, another habitat, is suffering from pollution and has been observed to grow healthier in acidic waters but this does not negate the loss of pollution. Animal behavior is also affected by this change. For example, prey animals such as clownfish have been recorded unable to hear loud predators.

To conclude, the changes we may see over the next few years will be devastating to different populations and a variety of ecosystems will degrade as well. Harvesting from the ocean will hopefully lessen in order to help these species survive in the wild. A gradual change in acidity in any animals in captivity along with cross-breeding may help animals adapt over time. We are still studying the effects of ocean acidification and will continue looking for options to help marine life evolve to handle this change or reverse it.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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